After receiving a second opinion Wednesday about his injured left knee, Jazz forward Josh Howard still plans to undergo surgery, The Salt Lake Tribune has learned.
Howard will likely have an arthroscopic-type procedure Thursday. He's expected to be treated by the same doctor who helped him recover from an anterior cruciate ligament tear in February 2010.
While the surgery is a setback for Howard — he was promoted March 5 to Utah's starting lineup and was averaging 8.7 points in 41 games — the second opinion was more positive than even the nine-year veteran was hoping for.
If the surgery goes as planned, Howard could be riding a stationary bike in about a week. He also might be able to return for the end of the 2011-12 regular season if there are no setbacks in his recovery.
If Howard is unable to rejoin Utah before a April 26 finale against Portland and the Jazz qualify for the postseason, he plans to be ready for the first round of the playoffs.
Brian T. Smith