Now that Dwight Howard has been traded and solved the summers biggest riddle, theres really only one question left:Hows the back, big fella?That seems to be something most fans and media would prefer to ignore. If not ignore, at least talk about a lot less than the fact Howard is now a member of the Lakers joining forces with Kobe Byrant, Steve Nash and Pau Gasol to form the NBAs latest (and possibly greatest) super team. With Howard, the Lakers are to basketball what The Avengers are to saving the universe. Or so it seems.But this superhero could have a kryptonite, and its called back surgery. Its what ended Howards season as a member of the Orlando Magic in late April, a herniated disc causing too much pain to carry on.Since then, Howard has received treatment and continued to rehabilitate the injury, and is said to be coming along quite well. At 26 years old, it certainly shouldnt be too much to overcome in the long-term. But no one is sure how it might impact the here and now.And the Lakers arent alone in wondering when, and how well, one of their star players might return.Chicagos Derrick Rose blew out his knee.Golden States Stephen Curry (ankle) and Andrew Bogut (back) are also medical mysteries.Clevelands Kyrie Irving (hand) should be ready for training camp but it seems too soon to say for sure.Thats not all, as the list of major question marks entering the season seems to be at all-time high.Doubts also surround everyone from the Clippers Blake Griffin (knee) to Portlands LaMarcus Aldridge (hip) to Minnesotas Ricky Rubio (knee) to Houstons Jeremy Linn (also knee).Remember, none of these aforementioned are considered run-of-the-mill role players. Theyre all, at the very least, the engines that makes their teams go.But perhaps none are bigger than Howard or Rose. With them, the Lakers and Bulls are considered title contenders. Without them, the Lakers will still be pretty good and the Bulls well, they were eliminated by Philadelphia in the first round of the playoffs, despite entering as the Easts top seed.Now, the 76ers are adding guys like Andrew Bynum (from the Lakers), and the Bulls are hoping guys like Rose will be ready to suit up by March.Its those type of situations that are tempering realistic expectations, and ultimately, reshaping the league.Of course, should Howard and the others return to form (or something close), then its business as usual.The Lakers will be considered among the favorites to emerge from the West, if not the favorite. The Warriors, Timberwolves and Cavaliers will continue to be considered teams on the rise. The Bulls will likely play their best when it means the most.But a lot of things will have to go right. A lot of bones and ligaments will have to heal in a timely fashion. A lot of players will have to sustain good health and happiness.Thats a lot of ifs, and if the history of injuries in sports has taught us anything, it rarely works out that way. Especially when youre talking about multiple injuries to a number of key athletes.Now that Howard has found a home, however, thats pretty much all thats left to talk about and the results could mean the difference between some teams continuing to progress, or even becoming great, and just trying to survive.In the case of the upcoming season, we may not know the answers until April. And in the case of the upcoming season, some teams and fans may find out that the truth isnt the only thing that hurts.