Nets downplay James Harden’s injury, declare star ‘day-to-day’
James Harden sat out the Brooklyn Nets’ 111-89 win over the Charlotte Hornets Thursday night, with the team citing a strained right hamstring as the cause. However, the Nets are downplaying Harden’s injury “both publicly and privately,” per the New York Post, which has created some semblance of uncertainty when Harden will return to the court.
According to the Post’s report, Harden is suffering from a relatively minor Grade 1 hamstring strain, as scans revealed no tear. Still, given how Kevin Durant is still sidelined due to a hamstring injury, missing the Nets’ last 21 games, it is arguably understandable that Harden’s setback has the team holding its breath.
At least publicly, though, the Nets are putting on a positive front regarding Harden’s injury.
“He’s doing pretty good. He had a scan and it was clear, so he’s day-to-day. So, we’re excited that it wasn’t worse,” Nash said. “So, big sigh of relief and you know, day-to-day means we will see him probably in the next few games for sure.”
Harden, who departed Wednesday’s win over the Rockets in the third quarter, without question has been carrying a heavy load since joining the Nets. Both Durant and Kyrie Irving have been absent for considerable stretches since Harden’s arrival, which is perhaps why he has found himself a little banged-up over the past week or so.
Hamstring strains can be notoriously wonky injuries, and there’s always the risk of returning too soon from such a setback. Given the Nets’ ongoing hot streak, the case can be made for the Nets to play it safe with Harden and not rush along his return.
Meanwhile, Durant’s return is believed to be imminent, although it’s expected the star will not play Sunday against the Bulls or Monday against the Knicks. The Nets are playing it extremely cautious with Durant in the final stages of his recovery, though the fact the team is on a tear and 18-3 without him since Feb. 13 obviously gives the team that welcome option.
It remains to be seen when the Nets will be able to get the band back together again on the court at the same time. That being said, the way the team has not only weathered the storms but thrived while running roughshod over the rest of the NBA should put the league on notice about just how dangerous Brooklyn will be when Harden, Irving and Durant are together again