James Harden carried the Houston Rockets through their injury-plagued middle stretch of this 2018-19 campaign, and the burden is about to be further lightened: according to media reports out of Houston, center Clint Capela is expected to return to action shortly after the upcoming All-Star break.
Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni referred to the game against the Timberwolves as “the last one until Clint comes back probably.”
The Rockets expect him to practice with the team for the first time since the injury next week in Los Angeles.
“He’s doing everything without contact,” D’Antoni said. “I guess those two practices will determine whether he will play the first game (after the break) or not.”
The 24-year-old has missed the past 15 games with a right thumb injury suffered at Orlando on January 13th, and had broken out to start the season, averaging a career-best line of 17.6 points (63.1 field goal percentage), 12.6 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 34.2 minutes per game through the first 42 games.
Houston has been outrebounded in 12-of-14 games without Capela and by 8.1 rpg (114 total) during that span, vs. a 1.2 rpg deficit prior. Houston is 19-3 when outrebounding its opponent this season and 14-20 when failing to do so.