Jordan Hill defends against Golden State Warriors rookie Festus Ezeli. (Gary Kazanjian / Associated…)
Dwight Howard approached Jordan Hill with some advice, and it had nothing to do with post-up moves.
Instead, Hill took away exactly what not to do on healing the herniated disk in his back.
"He had a short little tear on his disk and kept playing on it," Hill said. "He didn't get his core right and wasn't stretching so it got worse. So that's what we have to do. We have to get it stronger."
As a result, Howard underwent surgery on his back in April and hasn't finished his six-month rehab. The Lakers cleared Howard to participate in full-court five-on-five drills during Tuesday's practice, but he won't suit up Wednesday in the Lakers' preseason game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Ontario.
Hill will miss that game too, but he said he won't need surgery on the back. That's partly because he's avoiding what Howard initially tried to do.
"It's definitely not serious," Hill said. "It can be serious if you don't get your core right. We'll reevaluate it in a week and hopefully I'll be back in a week."
In the meantime, Hill won't practice and he won't participate in the Lakers' two preseason games this week.
Lakers Coach Mike Brown hardly felt concerned about the injuries. He said he will start second-round rookie Robert Sacre at center for the second consecutive game in place of Howard. Brown also plans to divvy up Hill's minutes among forward reserves, including Antawn Jamison and Earl Clark.
Hill just considers himself lucky to have caught the injury early. During the Lakers' preseason loss Sunday to Golden State in which he scored 10 points in 20 minutes, Hill sensed something wrong with his back at halftime. He then spent the second half applying a heat pad to his lower back while sitting on the bench.
"There wasn't that much pain," Hill said. "But there was a feeling I never had before so I just wanted to check it to make sure its OK. MRI showed there was something wrong with it, but not too serious."
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