The Los Angeles Lakers met for practice on Sunday.
“Did we play Friday?” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni asked. “I was trying to wipe that out my memory.”
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After the joke, the coach put on a straight face and said he looked at film with his guys, talked about turnovers, and pointed out areas where his team needed to improve.
One area the team needs to improve is healthy bodies.
A good sign, Xavier Henry was visible in the background doing some work for the first time since injuring his knee in the first quarter of the Dec. 29 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Henry’s energy, athleticism and attacking mindset have been sorely missed.
Including the loss to Philadelphia, the Lakers have dropped six of the seven games Henry has missed with the knee injury.
“Today is the first day I got to really do pretty much anything outside of in the back,” Henry told reporters. “I’ve been doing the pool, being doing all my treatments, been doing weights. Today, I wanted to see if I could jog up and down. We started off with some jogs, some cuts, some defensive slides—regular game stuff to see how I’ve progressed.”
Henry was scheduled to be reevaluated on Monday, and that evaluation will help determine when the 22-year-old can return to the court.
“I’m not sure what the doctor is going to do tomorrow,” Henry responded when asked what tests were scheduled.
However, the guard sounded optimistic and said a return to action on Tuesday was “possible.”
Still, Henry has not practiced with the team or gone full speed against anyone in two weeks. He said D’Antoni had not talked to him about being the backup point guard because he had not yet progressed to a level where that talk was necessary.
Until he gets clearance from the medical staff, no further talks are necessary.
“I have a big day tomorrow,” Henry said anxiously.