Tide's Hendrix is "ready to play"

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) - Forward Richard Hendrix pronounced himself "ready to play" in Alabama's game Wednesday night against Mississippi.

That's good news for the Crimson Tide entering a matchup with Dwayne Curtis and the Southeastern Conference's best rebounding team.

Hendrix is Alabama's leading scorer and rebounder. He missed last Saturday's game at Kentucky with a stomach virus. He returned to practice Monday and Tuesday said he was "feeling good"

He is leading the SEC in rebounding and ranks third in scoring, averaging 19 points and 10.3 boards.

Hendrix's return comes in time for a matchup with the Rebels' Curtis, who is averaging 15.4 points and 9.2 rebounds. Curtis is the league's No. 2 rebounder.

Hendrix returns for a matchup of two teams trying to salvage difficult SEC seasons.

The Tide (13-11, 2-7) has lost seven of its last nine games, including a 62-52 defeat at Kentucky without Hendrix. The Rebels (17-5, 3-5) have lost four of their last five SEC games.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)