Dwight Howard sat out last night’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves after having a benign cyst drained and removed from his left ankle. Howard has been dealing with an ankle sprain in that same joint but it is unclear if the two are related. He is expected to be back on the court for the Houston Rockets on Saturday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Ganglion cysts are benign balls of fluid that usually develop in the membrane that cover tendons and joints. They are most commonly seen in wrists and ankles but usually don’t cause any discomfort unless they are near a nerve, causing pressure and interference. The cause of these cysts are not well established but it is thought that they might be a blister response by the body to trauma or injury.
Up to half of all ganglion cysts disappear on their own but sometimes invasive procedures are warranted such as aspiration (draining of liquid from the cyst) or surgery. Home remedies that are not recommended include hitting the cyst with a heavy object or popping it with a something sharp.