Henderson: "I Have To Stay Focused"

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State junior wing Terry Henderson updates his injury situation with the media.

Terry Henderson was sidelined indefinitely just seven minutes into his first season at NC State.  He injured his ankle while contesting a shot.

"As soon as I landed I knew something wasn't right," said Henderson.  "I told Ryan that my leg went numb. I knew it wasn't a regular ankle sprain like I had in the past."

Diagnosed with an ankle sprain, Henderson needed surgery to repair the damage.

"They pretty much took two metal buttons, stuck them on the outside of my ankle and wrapped a couple of wires around the ligaments to keep them stable," he said.  "They added some stable pins on the other side too so it looks like two little wraps on my ankle."

Initially told he should be ready to play in six-to-eight weeks, Henderson has yet to resume practicing.  In fact, he still doesn't know when he'll be ready to return to action.

"Looking at what the doctors say about playing, getting back into playing shape," he said.  "They probably won't really know. That's something only I'll truly know myself because I'm the one on the court, making cuts and moves.  I feel like once I get back in the swing of things, back on the court, shooting and stuff like that. It hopefully shouldn't be too long.

"It is what it is.  I can't dwell on it. I have to stick through it."

"With Terry, the most important thing will be can he get to the point where he's truly 100%," said head coach Mark Gottfried.  "Cutting it loose, cutting, moving, jumping, defending. I don't think Terry wants to be in a situation where it will hurt the team if he's playing with a limp... limping around out there.  At that point it doesn't do any good for him or our team.
"It will be a wait-and-see.  Can he get to that point?  Maybe at that point in time we'll have to figure it out, but we're not there yet obviously."
Henderson is off crutches and has resumed light workouts.  He's doing stationary shooting and using an underwater treadmill and band work with his ankle to regain his range of motion.

The hope is he'll return and give the Wolfpack a much-needed lift as they've struggled to an 0-4 start in ACC play.  Expected to be a team leader on the court, Henderson is now trying to lead from the sidelines.

"I have to keep encouraging my teammates to keep getting better everyday and finish out the season strong," he said.  "Just take smarter shots and play basketball. I try to tell them all the time this game is just basketball.  We've played this game our whole lives and nothing has changed, it's just a higher level.

"I want to see them have more fun on the court... they are all good guys. Just have fun and cherish the moment. I can remember yesterday being a freshman at West Virginia and now I'm a redshirt junior.  Time flies... just cherish the moment."

Joining Henderson on the sidelines is two other Wolfpack guards, Torin Dorn and Dennis Smith Jr., but for different reasons.  Like Henderson, Smith is recovering from an injury, a torn ACL Smith suffered last summer.  He enrolled a few weeks ago and is rehabbing while sitting out this season.

"I'm glad to have [Dennis Smith] around now," said Henderson.  "We talk a lot. I talk to him about my surgery, we talk about his surgery. I think it's kind of funny that we're both in this situation right now.  The only thing is to stay positive and keep our heads up... look forward."

Dorn is traveling the same road that Henderson took last season as he sits out this year after transferring to NC State following his freshman year at Charlotte. A 6-foot-4 guard, Dorn has impressed in practice with his play.

"I like Torin, I really do," said Henderson.  "I think he's going to be a big part for us next year and the years to come. The future is looking really bright, that's all I can really say. I can't go into too much detail on that, but the future is looking bright.  

"I think Torin is doing a great job this year with the guys and the scout team. They are competing with our guys at a high level.  He's going to be a big surprise next year."

While Henderson isn't sure when he'll return, he is still holding out hope that he will be back on the court this season.

"I've never had an injury like this before in my life," he said. "It's kind of a new thing for me personally.  Everything happens for a reason, I'm a firm believer of that, and I have to stay focused and keep my head up.

"I'm just trying to go in everyday and make it stronger... get back to where I know I can be."

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