PHILADELPHIA — James Harden returned to the court after a four-game absence caused by Achilles soreness. The Philadelphia 76ers picked up a win over the Dallas Mavericks but the Sixers' floor general didn't have a very smooth return overall. Fortunately, he played well enough to help Philly snap a three-game skid.
Harden said he felt “okay” and that he expectedly got sore near the end of the game. Despite the soreness, he played very well in the fourth quarter, propelling the Sixers to victory. However, he revealed that the issue is far from new.
“Literally, I don't know where it came from but it's been bothering me for some months, I would say,” Harden said. “I just wanted to continue to play on it. There was one point where, in the last game I played, it was just really unbearable, so I couldn't even go out there. Six games left to finish the season off, finish off strong and then we get another week to prepare. I felt like tonight was the game to come back.”
In the Sixers' loss to the Chicago Bulls, Harden played horribly and was hurting throughout the game. He missed over a month of action due to a right foot fracture earlier in the season. His health becoming a worrisome issue again is not a good sign for the Sixers.
James Harden's hamstring injury last April played a big part in the disappointment over the end of the Sixers' season. He had to recover from the injury at the beginning of last offseason and since then has made great progress. Expect Harden to rest in several of Philly's final six games of the regular season as the team pursues a championship, which will require him to be as healthy as possible.