The Los Angeles Lakers’ backcourt could become a little more crowded for Friday’s game against the Sacramento Kings as guard Xavier Henry is nearing his return to court, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
Henry, who has been out since Dec. 29 due to a bone bruise in his right knee against the Philadelphia 76ers, has progressed enough in his recovery to possibly play in Friday’s game at the Staples Center.
“Less pain,” said Henry when asked how his knee was feeling before the Lakers played the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday. “No pain. It just feels good. Now that I’m getting to work out, I can get it strong without having to worry about it swelling up because it hasn’t swelled up yet too bad. So, it’s doing pretty well.”
It has been a difficult last two months for the 22-year-old as he has dealt with two setbacks during his recovery from the injury. The first was suffered on Jan. 12 after a individual workout as he experienced swelling in his right knee that forced him to scale back his rehab to non-weight-bearing exercises for the following few days afterward.
The second occurred just a day prior to the team’s game on Jan. 26 against the New York Knicks, as the Lakers determined that he would miss at least another 10-14 days due to the persistent swelling in his right knee and would undergo go an MRI the following day.
So with that said, it has been touch-and-go for the three-year veteran’s knee but it appears that he is past the point of any setbacks occurring once again.
“I’m past that point,” Henry said. “I feel really good when I’m out there. So, now I really need to just strengthen it so I get my jumping and my running and cutting and everything back the way it was.”
Henry also stated that the improvements in his knee may be due be the treatment that he received last week that consisted of a cortisone shot and draining of his injured knee.
“I don’t know if it was the shot, but I know the shot helped,” Henry said. “Draining my knee, getting all the fluid out there and putting the medicine in, it helped and my knee feels pretty good right now.”
Whatever the case may be, Henry has progressed far enough in his recovery up to the point where it is now only a matter of time before he makes his return to court. Last Friday he cleared for basketball activities, but no full-court five-on-five drills by team physician Dr. Steve Lombardo.
So as Henry makes his return to the court, it will be interesting to see how he works himself back into the rotation with the team’s newest roster additions of MarShon Brooks and Kent Bazemore both playing significant minutes since they were acquired prior to last Thursday’s trade deadline.
Nonetheless, it is an encouraging to hear that Henry is nearing a return to court after a difficult recovery process over the past two months.
Here is Henry’s impressive dunk over New Orleans Pelicans forward Jeff Withey earlier this season:
Photo Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Bob Garcia IV
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