James Harden injury update: Rockets star out at least two weeks

By @saihoops on
Golden State Warriors vs Houston Rockets live stream, Klay Thompson, James Harden
Jan 20, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) controls the ball as Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) defends during the first quarter at Toyota Center. USA TODAY Sports / Troy Taormina

Houston Rockets star James Harden will be sidelined for a minimum of two weeks due to a Grade 2 hamstring strain, the team announced on Monday (Tuesday AEDT). Harden picked up the injury during the Rockets' 148-142 double-overtime victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.

An early favourite to win the MVP award, Harden leads the NBA in scoring with 32.1 points, besides dishing out 9.1 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game. If Harden misses extended time, it's safe to assume that the likes of LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving will surpass the Rockets guard in the MVP race.

Harden strained his hamstring during the closing stages of the fourth quarter Sunday against the Lakers. After missing on a drive to the basket, Harden dragged his left leg gingerly before being helped to the locker room. Harden didn't return to the court for the two overtime periods. 

After the game, Harden knew he had pulled a hamstring. "Hopefully it is not that serious, just a pull on the hammy. I'll be good (It was concerning) especially (when) you don't know what it is or you have never experienced it before. Like I really can't run. If I am going to play. But I really couldn't run so let me go back here and see what is going on. We'll see. I think we don't play again until (Wednesday against Orlando) ... So I got a couple of days."

Rockets forward Trevor Ariza acknowledged that the team wouldn't be the same without Harden. "If James misses time, it is going to be tough. Since I have been here, he's been here, he has been on the court, he has been available. So for him to have to miss time, it would definitely be tough, definitely be an adjustment," Ariza told reporters on Monday after a practice session, via ESPN.

James Harden and the Houston Rockets began the season as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference before their recent slump enabled Golden State Warriors to claim the top spot in the standings. The Rockets have lost five of their last 10 games and are in danger of being surpassed by the third-seeded San Antonio Spurs. Stay tuned for the latest James Harden injury update.