BROOKLYN Nets guard James Harden is out indefinitely after sustaining a setback during his rehabilitation from an injured right hamstring, the team announced on Tuesday.
“We’re back to square one,” Nets coach Steve Nash said. “He will be back when he’s back. It might be the playoffs. It might be sooner.”
The 31-year-old was reinjured during an on-court session, according to the team. He underwent an MRI exam on Tuesday to learn the severity of the injury.
Harden is averaging 25.4 points, 8.7 rebounds and 11 assists in 34 games since joining Brooklyn early in the season from the Houston Rockets in a three-team trade. He has not played since April 5, when he left after less than five minutes of action against the New York Knicks.
Last weekend, Nets general manager Sean Marks spoke optimistically about Harden’s return.
“James is progressing well,” Marks said. “He’s looking forward to having at least one or two more play days, which means he’ll play four-on-four, five-on-five with the group in practice. And then hopefully if things go smoothly, he’ll be out and joining the guys in a game.”
Harden is a nine-time All-Star, three-time NBA scoring champion and the league’s 2017-18 MVP. He was considered a strong candidate for this season’s MVP honor before his injury.
Hawks over Magic
Meanwhile, Trae Young, wearing goggles for the first time due to an injury, scored 25 points and Lou Williams came off the bench to score 22 as the Atlanta Hawks defeated the visiting Orlando Magic (112-96) on Tuesday.
The Hawks (32-26) have won two straight and nine of their last 11 games. Atlanta improved to six games over .500 for the first time since March 11, 2017. Orlando (18-40) has lost three in a row and nine of its past 10.
Young was wearing the glasses to protect his right eyelid, which was scratched in a Sunday game against the Indiana Pacers. Young never seemed comfortable — and removed the goggles a couple of times during the game — but still shot 7-for-16 from the field while compiling seven assists, five rebounds and five turnovers.
Clint Capela had 14 points and 19 rebounds for his 11th straight double-double, increasing his total to a team-leading 39.
Orlando was led by Cole Anthony with 17 points and eight assists and Wendell Carter, Jr. with 17 points and eight rebounds. Greg Harris scored 14, and Dwayne Bacon and Chasson Randle had 10 points apiece. — Reuters