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Report: Rockets' Howard Finished for Season

Thursday, April 7, 2005; Page D04

Rockets F Juwan Howard will miss the rest of the season because of a viral infection in his heart, the Houston Chronicle reported on its Web site last night.

Out of the lineup the last three weeks because of a sprained right knee, Howard had an infection that could keep him from physical activity for the next four to six months, the newspaper reported, citing unidentified team sources.

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Howard hoped to return from his knee injury in time for the playoffs, which start April 23, but was told by doctors this week that he wouldn't be cleared to play again this season, even though the infection had been cured, the newspaper reported.

Rockets GM Carroll Dawson told the Associated Press last night that he couldn't comment about Howard's medical status, citing privacy laws.

SHAQ OUT AGAIN: Heat C Shaquille O'Neal will miss his second straight game because of a stomach ailment, sitting out tomorrow's game at Memphis.

O'Neal didn't practice Monday or play in Miami's 104-86 win over Chicago on Tuesday, and has since been diagnosed with an infection that is affecting his stomach. He was examined at a Miami hospital but not admitted, Coach Stan Van Gundy said.

"They think everything will be fine," Van Gundy said.

-- From News Services


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