Xavier Henry out for rest of the season

April, 4, 2014
Apr 4
2:11
PM PT
McMenamin By Dave McMenamin
ESPNLosAngeles.com
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EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- First Kobe Bryant. Now Xavier Henry.

Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said Friday that Henry will miss the remaining seven games of the regular season because of persistent pain stemming from a torn ligament in his left wrist and a bone bruise and abnormality of the meniscus in his right knee.

[+] EnlargeXavier Henry
AP Photo/David ZalubowskiXavier Henry has been dealing with persistent pain stemming from a torn ligament in his left wrist and a bone bruise and abnormality of the meniscus in his right knee.
"He's out for good," said D'Antoni. "It's time to get his surgeries. He's got a couple of them coming up and he needs to get a jumpstart on the summer time.

"He's tried to battle through it. He's done a great job, and your heart goes out to him, but I think at last thought was just go ahead and take care of what he needs to take care of."

Henry had been planning to have two procedures on both his wrist and his knee completed on the same day on the Friday after the regular season ended on April 16, but now is looking to move up the dates of the surgeries, according to a league source.

Henry fell on his left wrist, his shooting hand, in the second half of the Lakers' 117-107 loss to the Washington Wizards on March 21 and missed four of the Lakers' last seven games after that. He originally hurt his knee in the Lakers' 111-104 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Dec. 29 and missed 28 games with the injury.

The 6-foot-6, 220 pound swingman aggravated his knee against Milwaukee on March 27 and was able to play in just one game after that -- going 0-for-4 from the field in 13 minutes against the Portland Trail Blazers.

"His last game just kind of showed it where the pain was on his face, and I felt for him," D'Antoni said. "Why put him through that? He's battling all he can to do it, and he's very disappointed he won't be playing anymore, but the guy's got a lot of heart."

Henry admitted he was disappointed but vowed to be around the team as the season winds down, regardless of whether he's playing.

"It hurts," Henry said. "They think it's taking a toll on me, so I'll just pull it back."

Is the wrist or knee worse?

"They're both pretty bad," Henry said.

He said he was more worried about the wrist surgery than the knee procedure, which he described as "probably just a scope" that will sideline him for 6-8 weeks.

"It's really the wrist that I'm concerned about," Henry said. "I don't know much about the wrist and how long the surgery takes to heal for me to be back to 100 percent with that. That's really what I don't know about."

The former lottery pick came into Lakers training camp on a non-guaranteed deal, but Henry seemingly solidified his place in the league moving forward with his season in L.A., even if it was injury-riddled.

"Without a doubt," D'Antoni said. "I think he's proven that, by far. Now he just needs to get healthy and get himself ready to roll."

The 23-year-old averaged career highs in points (10.0), rebounds (2.7), assists (1.2), steals (1.0) and minutes (21.1) per game while also shooting a career-best 41.7 percent from the field.

"I just showed I can compete, just showed I can play in this league and help my team win," Henry said. "Contribute, be an impact player. That's what I tried to do.

"I just showed I can play hard and I bring a different kind of intensity to the game and just aggressiveness."

Henry spent his first three seasons with Memphis and New Orleans before settling in with L.A.

"I didn't know him that well," said D'Antoni. "I'd never seen him play that much. He hadn't played anywhere, so I think mostly he just got a chance to show what he had, and whether it's an improvement or not, it's just getting a chance to showcase it a little bit.

"The biggest thing he needs to make an improvement going forward is understanding when to drive, when not to drive. When to draw the defense and when to kick. That comes with experience and I think he improved at it, especially when he went to point guard. He showed signs of he's getting better at it. But again, being young and being that this is the first time he's played (extensively), he's pretty good. He's doing OK."

Henry, who will become a free agent this summer, said he wants to continue to grow with the Lakers.

"I hope to be here and I hope they want me," Henry said. "But you never know. It's a business. They're going to do what they want. I'm just here, supposed to do my job and that's all I can control. Hopefully they want me back and I'll go at it again next year."

Dave McMenamin

ESPNLosAngeles.com

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Nick Young
PTS AST STL MIN
17.9 1.5 0.7 28.3
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsJ. Hill 7.4
AssistsK. Bryant 6.3
StealsK. Bryant 1.2
BlocksW. Johnson 1.0