Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard will leave the team and return to California to have treatment on his injured right shoulder, the NBA team said Friday.
Howard, who suffered a torn labrum in the shoulder on January 4, aggravated the injury in a loss at Phoenix on Wednesday.
The team said Howard would have platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy under the supervision of doctor Steven Yoon. The therapy is thought to stimulate healing.
Howard's injury status is listed as "day-to-day".
He was to miss the team's game on Friday at Minnesota but could return for their contest at Detroit on Sunday.
Howard's initial injury came in a game against the Los Angeles Clippers, when Clippers forward Caron Butler struck him while trying to strip the ball.
In the Lakers' next game Howard matched his career high with 26 rebounds, but then missed three games.
Upon his return he aggravated the injury in the second quarter of a game against Memphis on January 23. He left the game against Phoenix in the fourth quarter.
Howard has said he won't have surgery, since he would be sidelined for six months.
Teammate Kobe Bryant said the injury was just something the team would have to deal with.
"It is going to be an all-season thing. That's how those type of injuries are with the labrum," Bryant said. "I've had them before ... When you get banged like that going up, you're going to get that stinging sensation. That's just how it's going to be."
Point guard Steve Nash acknowledged that the Lakers, who are battling just to get into playoff contention, would have trouble without their big man.
"This team is built to play around a center," Nash said.
"We're not athletic or fast elsewhere, but we're experienced and obviously have skilled players. But that's all predicated around having that defensive presence and having a big body in the paint at both ends."