Xavier Henry’s return pushed back

ORLANDO — After expressing optimism Lakers forward Xavier Henry could return within the next week, Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni suddenly sounded pessimistic.

“It’s another 10-14 days probably,” D’Antoni said.

Henry sounded surprised when reporters informed him of the timetable. After checking with the Lakers’ training staff, Henry predicted the bone bruise in his right knee will “be all right within the next week or so.”

However the timetable pans out, Henry is at least penciled out for the Lakers’ slew up of games against Orlando (tonight), New York (Sunday), Indiana (Tuesday) and Charlotte (Friday). Henry also said he is scheduled to receive an MRI on Monday on his right knee, which has also suffered an abnormality in his meniscus. Henry has missed the past 12 games, but had made some progress this week in participating in weight-bearing exercises that involved running, cutting and shooting.

Henry had also played in a full set of on-court basketball drills including games of three-on-three on Jan. 12, but he felt soreness in his right knee and scaled back his workload.

“I don’t like it’s been this long, but I can’t help how my body reacts and recovers,” Henry said. “It’s an injury that sucks to have. Sometimes you start feeling better in the next day and then you come in and you’re as stiff as ever. It’s been feeling great for the past week or so and I’ve been out there on the court, running, jumping, shooting, cutting. I’m trying to keep moving forward as fast as I can.”

The Lakers say they don’t view Henry’s delayed return as a setback. Instead, the team characterized his delay as necessary because of concerns he couldn’t handle an increased workload without feeling additional pain.

“They don’t want me to hurt something else,” said Henry, who has averaged 10.4 points. “If I go out and play right now, I can control my knee. But they don’t want me to hurt something else. They don’t care if the mensicus gets hurt a little bit. I can play through that. They just don’t want something else to happen.”


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Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at mark.medina@langnews.com

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