- The Washington Times - Monday, October 22, 2018

Dwight Howard may be further away from making his Washington Wizards debut than initially thought.

The center did not play in the Wizards’ first two home games of the new season, in which the team went 0-2. NBC Sports Washington reported Sunday that Howard did not make the trip to Portland, Oregon, with the team:

The thing is, Monday’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers is not a one-off contest. It’s the start of a five-game road trip in which the Wizards will then face the Golden State Warriors, the Sacramento Kings, the Los Angeles Clippers and the Memphis Grizzlies.

There is no indication yet that Howard cannot join the team mid-trip, but for now, that seems likely. A week ago, before the season began, Wizards coach Scott Brooks said Howard “definitely” would be able to make the trip with the team.

Howard has been dealing with an injury to his piriformis, a buttocks muscle, for several weeks at least. He described his pain to reporters last week after originally saying on media day it was more back soreness keeping him off the court.

The Wizards play the Trail Blazers Monday night at 10 p.m. Eastern.

• Adam Zielonka can be reached at azielonka@washingtontimes.com.

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