While his recent issues with regard to putting this nagging hamstring issue in the past have set some alarm bells off, this is extremely out of character for Harden, as he has generally been regarded as one of the more durable superstars in the game.
While the Nets have been able to win games in his absence due to the presence of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving alongside him, very rarely have the Nets been able to deploy what has been an extremely effective trio of stars. That problem has cropped up again against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Harden didn’t even play a full minute in Brooklyn’s first two games against Milwaukee, but the Nets were able to take both contests in convincing fashion. Still, Brooklyn wants No. 13 back as soon as possible.
This article has been updated on June 15.
James Harden injury update
Harden did not suit up in Games 3 and 4 of Brooklyn’s series against Milwaukee, as the Nets want to be absolutely sure that his hamstring is 100 percent and ready to go.
While hamstring injuries can normally take up to a few weeks to recover from, and the Nets have the star power to shoulder a brief stretch without him, they will try to get him back as soon as possible, as their offense can’t really take full form with Harden on the sideline.
Brooklyn will lean on Bruce Brown, Mike James, and Landry Shamet, and while guys like that have been exceptional in their roles, it goes without saying that they don’t have the scoring punch that Harden provides.
Harden might be banged up in this series, but most of the injuries he sustained in his career have been minor knocks. One of the few common threads, however, is his history with his hamstring, which might be concerning.
Harden is officially “questionable” for Game 5 vs Milwaukee, which seems…well, questionable in and of itself.
James Harden hamstring injury, 2021
Harden how now missed a total of 23 games this season due to his hamstring injury. While he tried to come back after missing just a handful of starts, he reaggravated the injury just four minutes into a game against the New York Knicks.
Despite his injuries impacting his stats, Harden was still a triple-double machine.
James Harden thigh bruise, 2020
Harden missed two games last season with a thigh bruise, though he returned to his old self swiftly thereafter.
James Harden left hamstring, October 2018
Harden missed three games early in the season with a left hamstring injury.
James Harden strained left hamstring, January 2018
After an injury on New Year’s Eve, Harden missed seven games before returning on January 18.
James Harden foot injury, 2013
Harden missed three games due to a foot injury. After this injury, Harden would miss just two games in the next three seasons for Houston.
James Harden concussion, 2012
We all know this one by now. Harden missed the tail end of the regular season during his final year in Oklahoma City after the man formerly known as Ron Artest/Metta World Peace blatantly elbowed him in the side of the head, dealing him a concussion. He returned in the postseason, but he wasn’t as sharp in the playoffs.
Harden might be struggling to stay healthy this season, but that is an outlier, as most of the bumps and bruises he has sustained in his career have been minor knocks that haven’t kept him out long.