Howard: I played with torn MCL

Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard revealed that he played with a torn MCL and meniscus during the Western Conference finals last season. 

Howard, who missed 41 games in the regular season, suffered the injury when he collided into team-mate Josh Smith in Game 1 against the Golden State Warriors, who went on to clinch the series 4-1. 

The 29-year-old pointed out that he tried to pass off the injury as a minor issue even though he was in severe pain as he wanted to try and help the Rockets progress to the NBA Finals. 

"I was basically playing with a torn MCL and meniscus," Howard, who recorded four double-doubles and averaged 37 minutes a game after sustaining the injury, told SportsRadio 610. "I never said anything about it. I tried to cover it up saying it was a sore knee. But I was in pain the rest of the series.

"I just looked at it like, man, you just never know if you will ever make it back to this moment. So just sacrifice your mind, your body and your spirit for your teammates and the city and hope for the best."