Washington Wizards center Dwight Howard looks at the scoreboard during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Al Drago)

Al Drago/Associated Press

Washington Wizards center Dwight Howard suffered a setback in his attempted return from a back injury.

According to Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington, Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said that Howard suffered a hamstring injury, and it remains uncertain when he will return to action.

The 33-year-old veteran has appeared in just nine games this season, and he hasn’t appeared in a game since November due to the back ailment. In nine games, Howard is averaging 12.8 points and 9.2 rebounds.

During the offseason, the Charlotte Hornets traded Howard to the Brooklyn Nets, and the Nets subsequently waived Howard. Washington then signed him to a two-year deal with a player option for 2019-20.

Howard was expected to provide the Wiz with a much-needed frontcourt presence to complement All-Star guards John Wall and Bradley Beal, but his inability to stay healthy has prevented that from happening.

The veteran is an eight-time All-Star and three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year who enjoyed most of his success during an eight-year run with the Orlando Magic to start his career.

Howard has bounced around often in recent years with stints as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, Houston Rockets, Atlanta Hawks, Hornets and Wizards since leaving the Magic in 2012.

While he is no longer the superstar he was earlier in his career, he is still a great rebounder and a strong defensive presence in the paint. Howard can also still take games over offensively on occasion when he gets fed the basketball and finds his rhythm around the rim.

Until he is able to return to action, look for Thomas Bryant and Bobby Portis to continue to split time at center. Jabari Parker will also continue to see plenty of playing time at power forward in the meantime.

With the Wizards three games out of a playoff spot and the regular season nearing its conclusion, though, there is no guarantee that Howard will play again this season.

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