Lakers forward Xavier Henry done for the season

The Lakers closed the book on another player this season, one of many who couldn't quite get over their injury problems.

Xavier Henry made it through a total of 43 games before the Lakers officially shut him down Friday because of wrist and knee injuries.

He showed an appetite for driving to the basket and averaged 10 points in 21.1 minutes, almost all as a reserve.

"My body is going to continually hurt as long as I keep pounding it and pounding it," Henry said Friday. "It's tough to play with."

He will need surgery to repair a cartilage abnormality in his right knee and a ruptured ligament in his left wrist. He'll probably have the procedures soon.

Henry was a big question mark when training camp began, an apparent lottery bust who landed on the Lakers with little more than a non-guaranteed contract.

He has proven himself to be NBA-worthy "without a doubt," Coach Mike D'Antoni said Friday.

"He needs to learn how to move the ball a little bit better, but he's getting fearless, he drives, there's a lot of stuff he does well," D'Antoni said. "Now he just needs to get healthy and get himself ready to roll."

Henry, 23, was the 12th pick in the 2010 draft, never averaging more than 5.3 points in three seasons with Memphis and New Orleans. He becomes a free agent in July.

"I hope to be here," he said. "I hope they want me, but you never know."

Henry was one of many Lakers whose court time was interrupted by injuries.

Kobe Bryant played only six games and Steve Nash played his 14th and probably final game this season Friday against Dallas.

Pau Gasol is probably done for the season after experiencing a severe recurrence of vertigo Wednesday in Sacramento. He has missed six games because of the illness.

Kelly = Nowitzki?

Rookie Ryan Kelly has been a pleasant find for the Lakers, taken with the 48th pick in last year's draft.

The foot injuries that plagued him at Duke and forced him lower in the draft appeared to be in the past.

With Dallas in town, D'Antoni was asked whether Kelly could be compared to perennial All-Star Dirk Nowitzki.

Both are power forwards who can shoot three-pointers, but it's a little early to say that.

"Dirk is an unbelievable shooter. You're talking about maybe the best ever at his position," he said. "Ryan might have a little bit more foot speed. If he could even get close to Nowitzki, that's pretty good."

The Lakers like Kelly and hope to re-sign him this summer. He will be a restricted free agent after making the league-minimum $490,180 this season. The Lakers can match any offer sheet he signs.

Listed at 6 feet 11, Kelly averaged 7.8 points and 3.6 rebounds coming into Friday's game. He was shooting 37.8% from three-point range, solid accuracy for a rookie.

Twitter: @Mike_Bresnahan

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