Houston Rockets: James Harden to hopefully return this week

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 10: James Harden
HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 10: James Harden /

Good news, Rockets fans. The Beard is very close to returning to action.

Today, it was announced that James Harden will likely be returning to the Rockets this week. After a hamstring injury has sidelined him the past 2 weeks, it looks like the Beard is close to a comeback.

While he has been out, the Rockets have kept alive in the race for a top seed in the Western Conference. They have gone 4-2 in the 6 games, thanks largely in part to Chris Paul and Eric Gordon as well as the newcomer, Gerald Green.

Jonathan Feigen officially broke the news this afternoon on Twitter. He stated that Harden will likely return on Thursday or Saturday.

Here’s the tweet:

D'Antoni on Harden's return: "Could be Thursday or Saturday, I don’t know. We’ll see how it is. Each day he’s got to get better. We’ll see. Whenever he’s ready."

— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) January 14, 2018

Thursday and Saturday games

On Thursday, the Rockets are at home to face the Timberwolves. Having Harden back for that game would be great as the game will likely be a scoring-fest. Jimmy Butler would probably be the one to take on the Beard in that game.

On Saturday, the Rockets will play the Warriors at home. For obvious reasons, it would be nice to have Harden healthy then. Last time against the Warriors, the Harden-less Rockets held their own. They led at multiple points in the game and eventually lost by 10.

Other returning players

Along with Harden, Luc Mbah a Moute and Tarik Black look like they may return this week.

Mbah a Moute and Black to practice today, play tomorrow if goes well.

— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) January 14, 2018

If Luc plays tomorrow against the Clippers, it will be his first of the season against his former squad. Having Black back would be nice as well so Ryan Anderson doesn’t have to play 39 minutes again.

The Rockets also signed G-League guard R.J. Hunter to a two-way deal.

Rockets announced the two-way deal with R.J. Hunter who said as much as he might have improved since Boston, the system the Rockets/Vipers play suits him. "The system has been great. It allows me to play free. That's so helpful."

— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) January 14, 2018

Hunter struggled with Boston last season but has thrived with the RGV Vipers this year. He has averaged 19 points per game on 37% shooting from deep. He will likely be used as guard depth should the Rockets encounter more injuries.

What do you think about Harden and the others’ return? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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