Nets' James Harden injury update revealed by Sean Marks, Steve Nash

Garrett Stepien
·3 min read
James Harden pregame shootaround 3/23
James Harden pregame shootaround 3/23

After leaving last Monday's 114-112 win over the Knicks with a hamstring injury, James Harden could soon make a return to the Nets.

Prior to Friday's 7:30 p.m. game against the Charlotte Hornets at Barclays Center, general manager Sean Marks and head coach Steve Nash shared an optimistic outlook on Harden's recovery process.

"I can tell you that 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 4 on 4, 5 on 5 with the group in practice. And hopefully, if things go smoothly like that, he'll be out and joining the guys in a game. But he's progressed well, he's met his markers up to this point and we'll just continue to progress him along. And hopefully, it's not too much longer. But at this point, I can't put a timetable on if it's two days, five days or so forth."

Nash echoed Marks' sentiments on Harden, who is averaging 25.4 points, 11.0 assists and 8.7 rebounds in 37.3 minutes over 34 games as a member of the Nets.

"I haven't seen James," Nash said. "So he worked out (Thursday). We had an off day. He worked out when we were on the road. But I think he was going to work out this evening. So I haven't seen him. So all I can go off is what I heard and I know, speaking to James and speaking to people who were on the court with him -- he is improving and he is on the right track and hopefully won't be long before he's back.

"But there are still markers. And you know there's James -- he wants to play tonight -- and there's performance that wants to lean on science and be safe. And so, there are two kind of despaired opinions and that's what we're here for is to try to find the middle ground and make sure he returns safely but also as soon as he possibly can."

A three-game road trip against the Miami Heat (Sunday), New Orleans Pelicans (Tuesday) and Toronto Raptors (Wednesday) is on deck.

"I mean, again, I hope I'm not speaking out of term," Nash said. "But I think typically, at this stage of the rehab, it's about high-intensity play. So can get out there and play 1 on 1, 3 on 3, 4 on 4, 5 on 5 and can he do it consistently over two or three times in a row?

"Not necessarily back-to-back days, but two or three bouts of high-intensity play in a row and you recover, do it again and prove that he can meet the demands and intensity and have no ill effects the next day or the next performance. So that's kind of the way it works, in a very general way."