After playing in two rehab assignment games with the Los Angeles D-Fenders, Xavier Henry fully participated in practice on Sunday with the Lakers and is expected return at Portland.
“He practiced and looked good,” coach Mike D’Antoni said. “He’s got a couple pounds he needs to get rid of because he hasn’t done any activity in six weeks, but he’ll play some minutes.”
Henry has been sidelined the team’s last 28 games with a bone bruise and an abnormality of the lateral meniscus. He originally suffered the injury vs. Philly on Dec. 29.
The Kansas product recorded 15 points, three rebounds and four steals in 23 minutes with the D-Fenders in Thursday’s 121-103 loss to the Texas Legends. He followed that game up with 19 points and three steals in 26 minutes in Saturday’s 137-126 overtime loss.
“I just wanted to get out there and play really,” Henry said. “I wanted to make it through a game without my knee swelling up, without it getting really stiff, stuff like that. It responded well for both games and the practice, so right now I feel pretty good.”
Prior to his rehab assignment, Henry had his knee drained of fluid and received a cortisone shot on Feb. 12. He had a number of setbacks in his attempt to return earlier, in part due to swelling in the knee.
“When you get a lot of swelling, it forces other things to happen in whatever joint it is,” Henry said. “And they didn’t want anything else to get hurt while my knee was swollen up, so we’d have to hold off, let the swelling get out and try it again.”
Now he maintains his knee feels much better and it’s just a matter of working his way back into game shape.
“I’m pain free, I feel good,” Henry said post practice. “Now it’s all about my wind, my body, trying to eat right, trying to get back in shape. That’s just what comes with two months of not playing basketball.”