The MVP candidate for the Rockets is close to returning from his hamstring injury.
About a week and a half ago, James Harden went down in the fourth quarter of a game against the Lakers with a hamstring injury. The Rockets were set to re-evaluate him 2 weeks later and he was officially out for 2-4 weeks.
It’s starting to look like it will be closer to 2 weeks, thankfully.
James Harden has been participating in workouts and shooting around over the last couple of days. Coach D’Antoni was as specific as ever, saying that the Beard looks “really good” but is still “days” away.
Hunter Atkins’s tweet about the situation sums it up pretty well:
James Harden is shooting and loudly laughing with Chris Paul at Rockets shootaround. Mike D’Antoni said Harden looks “really good” but, like Luc Mbah a Moute and Nene, is “days” away from returning from injury. Vague. Vaguer. Vaguest.
— Hunter Atkins (@HunterAtkins35) January 10, 2018
Vague. Vaguer. Vaguest. D’Antoni in a nutshell.
Kelly Iko of ESPN Houston (and formerly of Space City Scoop), says that he hears Harden will return next week:
James Harden is nearing a return to the court and “should be back soon, anytime next week”, according to a member of his camp who told me this morning. #Rockets
— Kelly Iko (@KellyIkoNBA) January 10, 2018
Seeing Harden shooting around is encouraging
Watching the Beard shoot around and participate in workouts is a breath of fresh air. Hamstring injuries can be tough to judge sometimes, so it’s good to know Harden is relatively close to returning.
The Rockets are currently 2-2 without James Harden, trying to make it 3-2 tonight against the Trail Blazers. He has been missed, though, and it will be nice to have him back. Will he return for next Saturday’s game against the Warriors?
While winning the MVP award certainly isn’t as important as keeping Harden healthy, it is still good to see that Harden will likely not miss too many games with this injury. LeBron James, the biggest competition to Harden for the award, has not been capitalizing on this opportunity to jump ahead of the Beard since the hamstring injury.
Last game for LeBron was his worst of the season. He scored just 10 points as the Cavs got blown out by the Timberwolves. The team as a whole is 4-6 in their last 10 games.
Steph Curry is another player who has been catching up to Harden in the race. However, Steph re-injured his ankle in shootaround today, so we’ll have to see how that plays out for him.