The seventh-year pro had offseason hip surgery and said he returned to full-contact practices about two weeks ago. After a series of full-court sprints at the end of Wednesday's shootaround in Utah, a sweaty and out-of-breath Henderson said he is getting closer to playing.
"I'm feeling good, but I can't give you a date,'' Henderson said. "When I feel comfortable to go out there and play in a game, I will go.''
Coach Terry Stotts said Henderson has looked "a little rusty" in practices but he said there haven't been any ill effects from his July surgery.
"His conditioning needs to improve,'' Stotts said. "He's not game ready, but he is progressing well.''
The article describes Henderson's approach to recovery, plus his diligence in studying the Blazers' system.
Henderson will be competing for minutes with starting shooting guard CJ McCollum. McCollum is assumed to have more offensive potential than Henderson. McCollum is averaging 28.9 points per 100 possessions with the Blazers this year while Henderson peaked at 26.0 in 2012-13 and registered a relatively pedestrian 21.6 with the Charlotte Hornets last year. But Henderson's experience could help Portland's ailing backcourt defense, leaving an interesting choice for Trail Blazers Head Coach Terry Stotts.
According to Quick, when pressed to put an exact timetable on his return, Henderson demurred:
"Umm ... getting closer,'' Henderson said. "Not very long. Not very long at all. That's all I got. Soon.''
The Blazers acquired Henderson from the Hornets in June in a deal that sent small forward Nicolas Batum to Charlotte. The package also included power forward Noah Vonleh, who has averaged 2.3 points and 3.3 rebounds in 15 minutes per game for the Blazers so far this season.
Thanks to Dan Graves for the find.