James Harden “Very Confident” He’ll Return Before Playoffs

A hamstring injury has sidelined James Harden since April 5, but the Nets star remains “very confident” that he’ll be back before the postseason gets underway later this month, he said today (Twitter link via Malika Andrews of ESPN).

Harden spoke today about his injury rehab, telling reporters that he’s working on his conditioning, changing speeds, and changing directions, and adding that he feels “really good” (Twitter link via Andrews).

Harden’s plan for now is to play a couple games for Brooklyn before the regular season ends, tweets Brian Lewis of The New York Post. The club currently has six games left on its schedule, including a pair of back-to-backs on May 11-12 and May 15-16 to close the season. It’s unclear if the Nets would allow Harden to play both halves of a back-to-back set, even if he returns by May 15.

Harden was putting up his usual MVP-type numbers for the Nets before his injury, averaging 25.4 points, 11.0 assists, and 8.7 rebounds per game in 34 contests (37.3 MPG) with the team.

Assuming Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving stay healthy, Harden’s return will get the Nets as close to full strength as they’ve been in months. The three stars have only appeared in seven games together.

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