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Lakers center Dwight Howard will not need shoulder surgery

Dwight Howard Lakers center Dwight Howard will not need shoulder surgery. (Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard will not need surgery on his ailing right shoulder, the team announced Wednesday.

Howard tore the labrum in his right shoulder in January and only missed about a week of action. Howard was injury-prone all season, also dealing with the effects of offseason back surgery, but still played 76 games, averaging 17.1 points and 12.4 rebounds a game.

Howard will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and says he has not decided whether or not he is going to re-sign with the Lakers.

“For me, I’m going to do what’s best for myself, what’s going to make me happy,” Howard said yesterday about his future. “At the end of the day, I can’t control who likes me and who dislikes me but I have the right to be happy. That’s what I’m going to do. That’s the biggest thing right there.”

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