Dwight Howard admits he might not have played again had he set aside and played through his back issue until the end of last season with the Orlando Magic.

"If I would have waited until after the season, if I would have tried to continue to play, then I probably wouldn't be able to play anymore," Howard said.

Howard underwent surgery in April to repair a herniated disc in his back. Back then, even doctors told him he could "never play basketball anymore."

"I never had a major injury before," Howard said. "And I just have to keep fighting through it."