It sounds like at least another week before Charlotte Bobcats captain Gerald Henderson will be well enough to play again.
In an exclusive interview Tuesday with the Observer, Henderson said his sprained left foot is still sore and he hasn’t been cleared for full activity on the basketball court.
“I’d say around a week. I’d have to be able to run and jump first and get a couple of practices in to get myself in decent enough shape because I’ve missed some time,” he said after a session of shooting and ball-handling.
Henderson suffered the injury during the second half of the Nov. 3 road loss to the Dallas Mavericks. The prognosis was he’d miss two to four weeks. Since Henderson went out, the Bobcats have gone 4-3.
Henderson can do some running in what’s called an Alter-G machine. Effectively that’s a tent of compressed air formed around his lower body, reducing the effect of gravity. He said he can safely run at about 70 percent of his body weight.
“It’s at a point where it’s still healing – there’s still a bruise in there. Not any real swelling, just really sore,” Henderson said. “I want it to get to a point where it’s strong enough where I can go out there and do regular activities.
“Maybe in the next few days I can get out there and jog, put my full body weight on it, but for now we’re just being cautious. Make sure I heal up so that when I come back I’m 100 percent.”
Much as he wishes he were playing, Henderson still feels a part of a 5-4 start.
“To think we have five wins right now is crazy,” he said. “Obviously my objective is to win, so when I come back everything will be the same. Obviously I need to work myself back into shape.”
With Henderson out, rookie Jeff Taylor has started seven games at shooting guard. The experience Taylor is gaining is significant. He finished Monday’s victory against the Milwaukee Bucks with 10 points and four assists.
“Jeff is a special guy – an elite defender. He’s smart and he cares about defense,” Henderson said. “He’s getting better offensively. He’s usually the most athletic player out there. Dunk on a dude? He can do it.”
Henderson has been a resource on the bench, but he’s been careful not to offer too much advice to teammates.
“It’s kind of touchy,” he said. “When you’re coming off the court, a lot of different guys are talking to you. I try not to be too annoying. Just offer some things that I feel can change the game.”