Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 4/19/12

Dwight Howard will have season-ending back surgery that will also keep him out for the London Olympics, his agent said on Thursday.

Howard last played on April 7 and missed a few games before he was diagnosed with a herniated disc, which apparently has worsened. He’s opted for surgery and is hoping the decision will end all the talk from people who believed he was tanking the season. He also should be back to action before too long.

“The doctor said it’s a one-inch incision. He said I can start rehab right away and be back to full contact in four months. So I’m not really concerned. If anything, I’ll come back stronger,” Howard told ESPN.

Howard’s injury leaves Team USA Basketball thinner at center. Tyson Chandler and LaMarcus Aldridge are the other two centers listed on the roster, but Aldridge is also out with an injury. With Lamar Odom out of consideration for the team, Heat forward Chris Bosh is more likely to make the cut. The other big men on the roster include Kevin Love and Blake Griffin.

USA Basketball is now down to 16 of their 20 finalists for the 12 roster spots.

Note: This post also appeared at Medal Detector

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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