James Harden is BACK!
Ahead of Game 5 against the Milwaukee Bucks, the Brooklyn Nets upgraded James Harden to "available".
James Harden will play in Game 5, sources tell ESPN.- Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 15, 2021
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Harden was "determined to try and find a way to get cleared" for Game 5. Harden reportedly worked his hamstring through shootaround "without an issue," and Shams Charania of The Athletic adds that the three-time scoring champion now "plans to play" barring a setback in pregame warmups.
James Harden worked his hamstring through shoot-around without an issue, and will do the same on the court prior to tip vs. Milwaukee with hopes of playing in Game 5 tonight, sources tell ESPN. https://t.co/8WzvPxthZy- Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 15, 2021
Here's everything we know about Harden's injury.
James Harden's injury timeline
Harden suffered a right hamstring injury on a drive to the basket 43 seconds into Game 1. The Nets called a timeout, Harden left the game and did not return.
Harden underwent an MRI, which reportedly revealed no structural damage.
"I'm heartbroken for him," Nash said of Harden after the game. "I don't know what's going to happen. I don't know if he's playing the next game, if he's out. I have no idea. But I'm heartbroken for him that he had to miss tonight."
James Harden is heading to the locker room with an apparent hamstring injury pic.twitter.com/r8hmUGHF05- Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 5, 2021
Harden was ruled out for Game 2 due to "right hamstring tightness" and did not play in Game 3 or Game 4.
James Harden's injury history
Harden dealt with a hamstring injury in the regular season.
Following a win over the Houston Rockets on March 31, Harden missed two straight games due to hamstring tightness. He returned against the New York Knicks on April 5, but he left the game after four minutes of play with right hamstring tightness. He then missed 18 straight games before appearing in two of Brooklyn's last three games of the season.
Ahead of the team's first-round matchup with the Boston Celtics, Nash told the media that Harden wouldn't be on a minutes restriction in the playoffs.
Harden averaged 27.8 points, 10.6 assists, 7.2 rebounds and 2.0 steals in 36.5 minutes in five games against the Celtics.
How long will James Harden be out?
It's still unknown if Harden will return in this series, but Nash said prior to Game 3 that he's progressing nicely from the injury, per Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News.
James Harden will not play in Game 3 but Steve Nash also says he's progressing nicely from his hamstring injury.- Kristian Winfield (@Krisplashed) June 9, 2021
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