Falling asleep became increasingly difficult for Xavier Henry, and the reasons went beyond stomaching the Lakers’ loss Friday to the San Antonio Spurs.
Although it didn’t prevent him from playing in the game, lingering headaches stemmed from a nasty fall on the court caused Henry to toss and turn on his bed. He still kept that determined attitude by participating Saturday in all of the Lakers’ practice. But plenty of signs linger surrounding his injury.
For one, Henry sported a visible scar above where he received nine stitches on his forehead.
“He’s got an eye on his forehead,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said, jokingly. “It looks like he should have an X.”
Secondly, Henry conceded he needs to take antibiotics to treat his lingering headaches.
“My head still hurts,” said Henry, whose nine stitches will be removed in about 10 days. “It’s going to hurt. But it’s not a concussion so I’m fine.”
Henry hardly looked fine after suffering a gash on his forehead in the second quarter against San Antonio after driving into the lane and landing on the knee of Lakers forward Wesley Johnson. Lakers trainer Gary Vitti repeatedly tried stopping the bleeding with a towel.
Henry still stayed on the court to make two free throws. But then he went to the locker room as the Lakers treated the two-inch gash with nine stitches, a bandage and a compression cap. The Lakers led 33-18 with 8:32 left in the second quarter after Henry made his two free throws, but that double-digit cushion soon evaporated. The Spurs closed out the first half with a 23-9 run, and the Lakers never recovered. Henry returned, but he only scored three points on a 3 of 6 mark from the line and missed all five of his field-goal attempts.
“I was playing hard. Things happen, but it’s all good,” said Henry, whose 13 points on 40 percent shooting ranks third on the team. “I was trying to keep everything moving. It took a long time for everything to get cleaned up and everything. But I wanted the game to keep going. It wasn’t too tough. I was thinking about how fast I could get my head bandaged up.”
Henry said he’s ditching the compression cap when the Lakers play Sunday against the Atlanta Hawks at Staples Center. No matter. He’ll still keep the same mindset that has ensured him a spot in the rotation.
“I don’t know how much of an impression it makes, but that’s me,” Henry said. “I’ll play through anything. It’s not a big deal for me. I’ve played through injuries a lot before. I just want to be out there to play. When I have a team that has confidence in me, I want to show that I’m in it for them.”
Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org