The Houston Rockets started the season on a roll despite the injury to Chris Paul thanks in large part to the incredible play of James Harden. Houston, however, has lost five of their last six games and Harden left last night’s victory over the Los Angeles Lakers with a hamstring strain.
Following an MRI that was done on Monday afternoon, the Rockets have announced that Harden will miss at least the next two weeks with a grade 2 hamstring strain before he is re-evaluated.
— Adam Wexler (@awexlerKPRC) January 2, 2018
The Rockets just announced that James Harden’s hamstring strain will sideline him at least two weeks.
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) January 2, 2018
Harden was questionable to play against the Lakers with a bruised right foot and had previously been dealing with a right knee bruise as well. He left last night’s game against LA in the fourth quarter with the hamstring strain and did not return, finishing with 40 points, two rebounds, 11 assists, two steals, two blocks, and three three-pointers in 41 minutes of action.
Rockets reporter Jonathan Feigen adds that a grade 2 strain means a partial tear for Harden, and that a re-evaluation in two weeks doesn’t mean he’ll return in two weeks.
A grade two hamstring strain involves a partial tear of a hamstring. Even within grade 2, there can be a variety of severeties, but the two weeks is for an exam, not for Harden to return.
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) January 2, 2018
Houston plays seven games over the next two weeks, all of which Harden will miss, before being re-evaluated. In exactly two weeks, the Rockets take to the road to play the Clippers in Los Angeles in what will be Chris Paul’s return game. As it stands, he looks doubtful to play that game unless he makes tremendous progress to return from injury sooner than expected.
Harden is currently 11th in the NBA in minutes per game, playing 36.3 minutes a night. While the current minutes average would be his lowest in six years with the Rockets franchise, Harden is having a career-year in terms of scoring at 32.3 points per game.