Shams Charania of The Athletic first reported (via Twitter) that Harden is aiming to make it back at some point on Philadelphia’s current three-game road trip, which begins on Wednesday in Cleveland. The team will play in Friday in Memphis before heading to Houston for Monday’s matchup. Charania – like Pompey – says a Monday return is most likely for Harden.
The Sixers have been significantly shorthanded as of late, particularly in their backcourt, where Harden has been on the shelf since November 2 and Tyrese Maxey has been out since Nov. 18 with a foot injury of his own. Star center Joel Embiid also missed some time before rejoining Philadelphia’s lineup on Monday.
Despite the health issues affecting their top players, the 76ers have held their own in recent weeks. They’re 8-4 since Harden went down, including 3-1 in the games that Harden, Maxey, and Emibid all missed.
Maxey’s return is likely a little ways off yet, but the Sixers will be in position to begin solidifying a spot near the top of the Eastern Conference standings if Embiid and Harden are both healthy for the foreseeable future beginning next week. At 12-9, the club currently ranks fifth in the East.