Top Stories

D'Antoni doubts Harden (hamstring) will return by Friday

Houston Rockets guard James Harden, who has been sidelined with a hamstring injury, may not be back in the lineup as soon as anticipated.

Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said today at practice that he doubts Harden will be back in time for Friday’s road game against the Brooklyn Nets (7:30 ET, NBA League Pass). Last Thursday, Harden was diagnosed with a Grade 1-Plus left hamstring strain, an injury he suffered in the Rockets’ home loss to the Utah Jazz on Oct. 24.

Additionally, forward James Ennis III suffered a Grade 2 right hamstring strain in the Rockets’ 115-112 loss to the LA Clippers on Oct. 21. has missed the last two games as expected, but his timetable to return could also be pushed back.

Per the Houston Chronicle‘s Jonathan Feigen, D’Antoni told reporters he believes Harden is making progress. However, taking caution with his injury could lead Harden to miss a game beyond the two absences that were planned. The Rockets will visit the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night (8 ET, NBA League Pass).

“Progressing well,” D’Antoni said. “Just a matter of time. I don’t know what that time is, but I think they will be reevaluated this weekend when we are on our road trip. I’m hoping in the next six days or so they might be cleared, but that’s a guess.

“I don’t think anything’s been determined, but I would say doubtful (that Harden or Ennis could play on Friday) for right now. Maybe doubtful in a couple peoples’ minds. In James (Harden’s) mind probably not doubtful, but we’re going to be cautious with him, make sure we don’t mess it up.”

The Rockets have also been without big men Nene, Zhou Qi and Marquese Chriss for all but five games. However, Zhou and Chriss returned to practice this week and are no longer on the injured list.

Houston hosts the Portland Trail Blazers tomorrow night (8 ET, NBA League Pass).