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Lakers center Dwight Howard reveals nerve damage, said leg felt "dead"

Lakers center Dwight Howard said his leg felt dead because of nerve damage brought on by a bad back. (Noah Graham/NBA/Getty Images)

Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard revealed on Thursday just how painful his back injury was last season, saying he couldn't even do a leg raise or bend over.

"What a lot of people don't know is when I hurt my back, it affected my nerves to the point where my whole left leg just went dead basically," Howard told the Los Angeles Times. "I couldn't do a calf raise. When I went to see the doctor right before I was traded. Most guys don't recover as fast as you did, especially when it affects your nerve down your leg. It usually takes a year for your leg to regain strength."

Howard had surgery in April for a herniated disk, and he says that it took him two months before he could lift his calf off the ground.

Howard will not play in the Lakers' exhibition game Saturday against the Utah Jazz, but says he wants to play before the Lakers open their season on Oct. 30. Howard played in only 54 regular-season games last year.

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