Laker Nation thought the Lakers injury bug could not get any worse than it already has been. Unfortunately, it was wrong.
G Xavier Henry will now be out for at least 7-10 days as MRI showed that he suffered a bone bruise in his right knee during yesterday night’s game vs. Philadelphia 76ers, according to ESPN.com’s Dave McMenamin. The injury occurred when he landed awkwardly trying to block a shot on a fast break without anyone touching him. McMenamin also mentioned on his Twitter page that Henry’s “right knee also revealed some cartilage damage but ‘nothing severe,'” according to his sources.
Henry has clearly revived his career with the Lakers this season, averaging a career high 10.4 PPG while playing a lot of point guard, which is not his natural position by any means. Henry showed improvement in his ball handling skills since he got forced into a point guard role due to the injuries of the rest of the Lakers point guards, PG Steve Nash, PG Steve Blake, and PG Jordan Farmar, throughout this season.
With Henry’s injury and also PG Jordan Farmar missing practice today due to tigtness in his hamstring that he tore last month leaves PG Kendall Marshall as the only healthy Lakers point guard available for tomorrow’s game vs. Milwaukee Bucks. However, Farmar is expected to play tomorrow night.
“I just landed awkwardly on my leg when I was about to plant,” Henry told the media after the game. A lot of people already assumed the worst when Henry said that “feels weird” and “a little loose,” and described the sensation of that looseness as feeling “kind of buckled”.
To make matters worse for Henry, his contract does not become non-guaranteed until January 7th. The way Henry played throughout this season would have definitely guaranteed him not only a guaranteed salary this season, but also a very solid contract this offseason, like how former Lakers F Earl Clark made $8 million signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers this offseason to a 2-year contract. Fortunately, this injury does not seem as serious as what many people feared after he left yesterday’s game.
January games are very crucial for the Lakers to determine whether or not the Lakers can make a run at a playoff berth. Unfortunately, Henry’s injury makes staying alive in a playoff chase that much more difficult.