Lakers’ Xavier Henry out four more weeks
A few days ago, Lakers Coach Mike D'Antoni was contemplating that his team could have close to a healthy roster after this weekend’s All-Star break.
No such luck.
Reserve guard Xavier Henry, who was injured in a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Dec. 30, had his right knee drained on Wednesday. He also received a cortisone shot and isn’t expected to be back for at least four more weeks.
Henry was originally expected to be out for a week to 10 days because of a bone bruise and an abnormality in his lateral meniscus.
“It’s tough because we could use the way he plays,” guard Steve Blake said. “He’s a tough, strong kid. He works hard and doesn’t really take plays off, attacks the basket, gets to the free-throw line. Those are all things we could use right now.”
D'Antoni didn’t have enough players to practice Wednesday, so the Lakers watched film and did some shooting drills.
The injured list includes Kobe Bryant (knee), Pau Gasol (groin), Nick Young (knee), Jordan Farmar (hamstring), Jodie Meeks (ankle) and Steve Nash (nerve problems).
Nash has left the last two games early because of back, knee and hamstring problems, all related to the chronic nerve root irritation that has kept him out of the lineup for most of the season.
He reinjured his knee in a collision Sunday in a loss to Chicago, and left in the third quarter. Nash wasn’t able to play the second half Tuesday as the Lakers fell to the Utah Jazz.
“Getting hit in the exact spot where I broke my leg was unlucky,” Nash said. “You’ve got to fight through the frustration and do what you can to get back out there.”
Nash, 40, expects to sit out the team’s final game before the All-Star break, when it faces the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday.
Nash has played in only 10 games this season, averaging 7.6 points and 4.7 assists. He said he’s not paying attention to any suggestions from outsiders that he consider retiring.
“I didn’t pound my chest when people told me I was great for a long time in my career,” Nash said. “I’m not going to let it affect me when people think I should look myself in the mirror. I just love to play the game, and I want to get back out there and play.”
In Sunday’s game, Blake tweaked his right elbow, the same one that kept him sidelined for almost two months.
Blake suffered a torn ligament in his right elbow in December but returned to play last week.
“It’s a little sorer than usual but nothing serious,” he said.
On Tuesday, the Lakers failed to sell out for the second time at home this season, drawing a season-low 18,209 against the Jazz. Their first non-sellout was Nov. 12 against New Orleans, ending a streak of 270 consecutive regular-season sellouts (320 including playoffs), dating to December 2006.
The Lakers are eighth in the NBA in home attendance, averaging 18,937 fans per game. The Clippers have sold out every game this season and rank seventh in attendance (19,196).
Times staff writer Ben Bolch contributed to this report.
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