As if the Charlotte Bobcats could afford any additional injury woes, there was fear over the All-Star break that small forward Corey Maggette might have a torn meniscus that would have ended his season.
"Just a God-send he didn't have a torn meniscus," coach Paul Silas told the Observer on Monday night. "That's what I (initially) heard."
The diagnosis proved to be less dire; Maggette has inflammation and swelling in his right knee, and sat out practice Monday.
He said he hopes to practice today, and if that goes all right, Maggette will try to play Wednesday against the Detroit Pistons in Auburn Hills, Mich.
The Bobcats already have lost 91 player-games to injury, and had a 4-28 record entering All-Star break.
Shooting guard Gerald Henderson practiced Monday for the first time since suffering a hamstring strain.
He missed nine consecutive games.
Henderson said he plans to play Wednesday. Silas said he'd likely use Henderson off the bench that first game before moving him back into the starting lineup.
"It felt fine - no pain in the hamstring," said Henderson, who stayed in Charlotte over the break to work out and get treatment.
Henderson said it's now a matter of regaining his game shape.
He said that shouldn't take long, since he played two months before being injured. Silas said it can take a couple of weeks for starters to totally get back in the groove after an extended injury.
If Henderson and Maggette both play against the Pistons, and no other Bobcats gets hurt, this will be the first time this season Silas will have all 15 players healthy and able to play.
After missing the last game before the break with a virus, center Byron Mullens was back at practice Monday.
Maggette said he hurt his knee in the first of two games against the Indiana Pacers, when he was tangled up with Pacers forward Danny Granger. Maggette didn't think it was serious initially, but it grew worse over time, and team officials feared a torn meniscus.
Maggette missed 19 games with a left hamstring strain he suffered in early January. During that span, the Bobcats went 1-18.
Silas said one of the advantages to getting healthy should be a dramatically better bench.
Silas has point guard Kemba Walker, small forward Derrick Brown and power forward Tyrus Thomas playing off the bench.
Once Henderson returns to the starting lineup, shooting guard Reggie Williams should pump up the bench scoring.