In the fourth quarter against the Suns, Howard gathered an offensive rebound and exploded up for a putback. But Shannon Brown swiped down hard at the ball. Howard immediately grabbed at his right shoulder, sitting down in pain, and left the game.
He remained on the bench icing the shoulder and did not return.
"My understanding is it hurts, it'll go away in a couple of days and he can play," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said after the game, via CBSSports.com's Ken Berger.
Howard tore his right labrum in a similar manner against the Clippers a few weeks ago. He missed a week with the injury, then aggravated it last week against Memphis but continued to play.
Surgery would likely cause Howard to miss the remainder of the season, so the Lakers are hoping it can heal enough on its own and then be re-evaluated after the season.
He's listed as day to day.
Howard, 27, is averaging 16.5 points and 11.9 rebounds in 43 appearances this season.