Charlotte Bobcats co-captain Gerald Henderson actually was relieved by what he heard from the doctor Tuesday.
Losing two-four weeks with a left mid-foot sprain is no bargain, but Henderson feared a ligament tear that would have required surgery and jeopardized his season.
It had potential to be worse where the injury was, said Henderson, his foot wrapped in a protective boot. Its pretty painful to walk on. It could have been broken.
It could have been a higher degree of tear of ligaments; I could have had surgery. Not anything like that. So I was happy to hear what he said.
Henderson, last seasons leading scorer at 15.1 points per game, injured his foot during the second half of Saturdays loss at Dallas. He left the court in pain and immediately was taken to the training room for X-rays that came back negative.
I drove down the middle of the lane and got fouled. I slipped, and my foot kind of dragged on the ground and turned a little weird, Henderson described. I got up and felt something was wrong. I just couldnt put a whole bunch of pressure on it, so I knew something was wrong.
The Bobcats will be scrambling to fill all the things Henderson does. Along with being the starting shooting guard he has been the backup small forward this season. He is third on the Bobcats in scoring at 12.5 points per game and sixth in the NBA in steals at three per game.
Coach Mike Dunlap said he wont decide who to move into the starting lineup until Wednesday, when the Bobcats will host the Phoenix Suns. Dunlap told the Observer he is considering Ben Gordon and Ramon Sessions. Also, rookie Jeff Taylor figures to have a bigger role during Hendersons absence.
Well do it by committee. We have plenty of young guys who need (playing time). Also we have some guys on the second unit who can step into that chair, Dunlap said.
While Henderson, a former Duke star, is a big part of the Bobcats this season, Dunlap said its important as coach to send the message this isnt cause for panic.
Our focus is always Next play, next guy up, Dunlap said. Theres just no value in talking long about adversity. Its more addressing the question: Who are your candidates for tomorrow night? You know who they are.
The Bobcats are relatively deep at shooting guard. Gordon, acquired from the Detroit Pistons, is the teams most experienced scorer. Sessions is a point guard who can defend shooting guards. Reggie Williams can play shooting guard or small forward. Matt Carroll also is available.
I feel like Im a huge part of what were doing, but injuries are just part of the NBA. Somebody goes down, then somebody has to step up, Henderson said.
Weve got some good wing players, so guys are going to play, score the ball and play defense. Im confident theyll do a good job.