Harden set to return vs. Timberwolves

NBA.com Global on Jan 18, 2018 07:37 AM
Harden set to return vs. Timberwolves
HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 16: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets celebrates a score during the game against the Milwaukee Bucks on December 16, 2017 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBA.com staff report

The Houston Rockets should have their Kia MVP frontrunner back in the lineup soon. The team upgraded him to questionable for tomorrow night's (Friday, PHL time) game against the Northwest Division-leading Minnesota Timberwolves.

Harden suffered a Grade 2 hamstring strain in an overtime win against the Los Angeles Lakers on Dec. 31 (Jan. 1, PHL time) and has been sidelined since then. Houston has gone 4-3 during his absence, but is coming off a loss to the LA Clippers on Martin Luther King Jr. Day that was marred by a postgame incident that reportedly involved Harden and other players from both teams.

According to ESPN.com's Tim MacMahon, the Rockets are planning for Harden to be in the lineup against the Timberwolves barring any setbacks:

The Houston Rockets plan for star guard James Harden to return from a hamstring strain Thursday against the Minnesota Timberwolves, barring any setbacks during Wednesday's practice, league sources told ESPN.

Harden, who has missed the last seven games, is officially listed as questionable for Thursday's home game.

Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle reports the Rockets are hoping Harden will play, but they are also awaiting the NBA's ruling on the Clippers-Rockets incident to see whether or not Harden will be penalized:

The Rockets could have reinforcements on the way on Thursday – unless the NBA rules it out when it determines any penalties for the post-game incident in Los Angeles on Monday.

Rockets guard James Harden was upgraded to questionable to play against the Timberwolves after missing seven games with a strained left hamstring. The Rockets have gone 4-3 without Harden since he left the game Dec. 31.

Harden was among the group of players, with Trevor Ariza, Chris Paul and Gerald Green, who attempted to enter Clippers locker room after the game.

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