Xavier Henry has been sidelined by what doctors have called “an abnormality of the lateral meniscus” since December 28, 2013. Henry has yet to appear in a game for the Lakers in the year of 2014, but has been ramping up his activity over the past week.
According to ESPN Los Angeles writer Dave McMenamin, Xavier is “almost to the finish line” in terms of his recovery:
The fourth-year wing player, who suffered a bone bruise in his right knee on Dec. 29 against Philadelphia and was later diagnosed with an abnormality of the lateral meniscus and has been sidelined ever since, has been ramping up his workouts and could return to the lineup as soon as Friday when the Lakers host the Sacramento Kings, or Monday when the Lakers play a road game against the Portland Trail Blazers.
Xavier had been close to a return on multiple occasions, but every time he ramped up his activity he would once again have knee issues. Before the injury, Xavier was having somewhat of a stand out season with career highs in points, rebounds, assists, and field goal percentage.
As McMenamin points out, Xavier did not want to be over opportunistic on his ability to come back, but said he is feeling much better:
Henry was careful not to cry wolf about his progress. There have already been two times while he has been out that Henry increased his activity, only to have to slow it down again and rest because of swelling in the knee.
Could he suffer the same type of setback again?
“I’m past that point,” Henry said. “I feel really good when I’m out there.
When Xavier returns, the Lakers will have an influx of wing players. Nick Young, Wes Johnson, Kent Bazemore, MarShon Brooks, and Henry can all play the wing position and it will be interesting to see how D’Antoni divides the minutes between the players.
New additions Bazemore and Brooks have shown glimpses of great play, and Johnson has been one of the more consistent Laker wing players.
With the Lakers struggling mightily in 2014, hopefully Xavier can come back and inject some life into the team.
Coach D’Antoni Talks About Clearing Room For Nick Young And Xavier Henry