Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard received stitches for a cut on his arm and will not play in Friday's preseason finale against the San Antonio Spurs, Jenny Dial Creech of The Houston Chronicle reports.
Creech reports Howard's cut did not come from either practice or a game.
Howard, 28, is entering his second season with the Rockets after averaging 18.3 points, 12.2 rebounds and 1.8 blocks last season. He upped his play in the postseason to average 26.0 points, 13.7 rebounds and 2.8 blocks during Houston's seven-game series against the Portland Trail Blazers.
After being slowed by his recovery from a 2012 back injury, Howard has drawn praise during the preseason for his conditioning. Hall of Fame center Hakeem Olajuwon said Howard is "looking for an MVP year" this season. Teammate Trevor Ariza, who played with Howard during his time in Orlando, said he is more athletic now than ever before.
The Rockets open the regular season on Tuesday against Howard's former team, the Los Angeles Lakers.
- Paul Palladino