Houston may have a problem.
Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard may be out for around a month due to lingering trouble with his right knee, officials said, according to ESPN. Howard has swelling in his knee, which has forced him to rest and consult with various doctors about the best course of treatment.
A strained knee forced Howard to miss 11 games in December, for which he underwent therapy, according to the Houston Chronicle. He has missed 16 games this season, but the Rockets have gone 11-5 without him.
There are many different causes of knee swelling. It can be the result of infection, inflammation, trauma or injury, bleeding and, rarely, tumors.
Knee swelling may come with other symptoms like instability of the joint, limited ability to move the knee or leg, muscle weakness or spasms and bruising.
Without Howard, NBA scoring leader James Harden will have to continue to lead the team. Big men Donatas Motiejunas, Joey Dorsey, Josh Smith and Terrence Jones will attempt to pick up the slack while Howard is out.
The Rockets are in the middle of one of the most competitive basketball conferences ever. Houston, currently 33-15 and third in the West, is 5.5 games out of first, while the eighth seed is six games behind them.