Dwight Howard will undergo back surgery on Friday morning in Los Angeles to repair a herniated disk.
The surgery will end his season and eliminate the possibility of his participation in the 2012 Summer Olympics.
"It hurts (emotionally)," Howard told ESPN the Magazine's Chris Broussard. "That's the first thing -- it hurts. And then with people saying and thinking I'm quitting on my team. This is a real issue. I tried to play through it and it just made my back worse."
Howard first complained of back problems in early March.
It wasn't until Los Angeles-based spine surgeon Dr. Robert Watkins examined him last week that the herniated disk was discovered.
Howard told Broussard he is not worried about any long-term ramifications from the surgery.
"The doctor said it's a one-inch incision," Howard told Broussard. "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."
The surgery will likely change the perception that Howard was sitting out in an attempt to have Stan Van Gundy replaced.