Henderson determined to heal before returning

RICKY Henderson has not ruled out a return to the field for Adelaide by the end of the year, but insists a premature return is the last thing on his mind.

Very much in the early stages on the road to recovery from a broken ankle and torn ligaments, the former Ballarat basketballer and footballer is forced to play the waiting game while his lower leg heals.

Earmarked by doctors as being four to five months away from a return, Henderson would only be able to return in the latter stage of the home and away season, or possibly in September if the Crows qualify for finals.

However, the 25-year-old refuses to put any time frame on his return.

“I just want to make sure the ankle is right before I start to do anything too serious, so that is probably the most important thing so I don’t have to worry about it in the long term,” Henderson told Channel Crow.

“I’ve just got to take it really slow at the minute and make sure the ankle is right.”

Henderson broke his left ankle in a training accident in February, after he was tackled from behind.

He has since undergone surgery and has had a plate inserted in his ankle, joining Adelaide captain Nathan van Berlo on the long-term injury list.

“The ankle is starting to come along pretty well, which is good,” he said.

“Obviously I was a little bit disappointed it happened in the first place, but these things happen. It’s football.

“I’m not doing a whole heap just at the minute but just doing anything at the minute is good to keep my sanity.”

Henderson was picked up by the Crows at number 10 in the 2009 AFL rookie draft through bizarre circumstances.

Touted as the next great Ballarat Miner, he was spotted by an Adelaide scout at a national basketball camp and was encouraged to pursue a career in football by mentor and Ballarat Basketball Association chief executive Peter Eddy.

Before his selection, he had played just three games of football with Trentham in the Maryborough Castlemaine District Football League.

Henderson made his debut for the Crows in 2010 and has since played 56 AFL games in a variety of roles.