Brooklyn Nets Most Valuable Player candidate James Harden has been out for over a month with a hamstring strain. Harden suffered the injury in a game against the New York Knicks on April 5.
The nine-time All-Star was originally scheduled to be out for 10 days at which point his injured hamstring was supposed to be re-evaluated. Unfortunately, he suffered a setback during his on-court rehab on April 21. After suffering the setback Nets head coach Steve Nash could not say for a fact that Harden would be ready to go for the playoffs.
“He’ll be back when he’s back. That may not be until the playoffs. It may be sooner. I don’t know,” Nash said via CBS Sports. “We have no control over that other than working as hard as we can to support him and getting back to full health to play again. We’re prepared for whenever that may be.”
Ahead of the Nets matchup again the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday Harden gave everyone an important update on the status of his injury.
The latest Nets news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Nets newsletter here!
Join Heavy on Nets!
James Harden Gives Update on His Status for the NBA Playoffs
“So far, so good,” Harden said to reporters of his hamstring rehab via ESPN. “Today was really good, and we’ve just got to keep building on that.”
With Harden’s return on the horizon, we could finally see Brooklyn’s ‘Big 3’ of he, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Durant take the floor for just the eighth time this year. Having an opportunity to get on the same page in-game could be crucial for the Nets’ chemistry as they gear up for what they hope is a long playoff run.
“We wanted to be patient. As much as I love to hoop, I want to be out there, but you’ve got to be smart. And for me, it was just, ‘Let’s knock this thing out, let’s get this thing healthy so we can make a push,” Harden said.
James Harden is “very confident” that he’ll be back before the postseason: pic.twitter.com/yjU7UMXnqg
— Nets Videos (@SNYNets) May 6, 2021
Follow the Heavy on Nets Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content out of Brooklyn!
Harden & The Nets Have Their Eyes on the Bigger Picture
The Nets medical staff for the most part has been extremely cautious about managing loads of their stars. Kevin Durant was sidelined for 23 games with the same type of hamstring injury that Harden is dealing with. The Nets staff could have brought Durant back from injury a lot sooner than they did but they wanted to avoid the risk of re-aggravating the injury which is exactly what happened to Harden.
The Nets hopefully have learned their lesson about rushing players back from injury. Especially as a team has been adamant about prioritizing the long-term health of their players over regular-season wins as they have already clinched a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Everyone involved must keep their eyes on the prize which is the NBA title.
“At this point in my career, going to postseasons basically since I’ve been in Houston, I’ve been playing heavy minutes, just carrying the load. And this was an opportunity for me to keep my body right going into the postseason with a clear mind and a clear body. You’ve got 16 games to win. That’s the ultimate goal. That’s the reason why I came to Brooklyn.”
The Nets will be looking to snap a three-game losing streak when they take on the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday.
READ NEXT: Nets Kyrie Irving in Hot Water With NBA for Controversial Decision