The Brooklyn Nets announced Tuesday that James Harden has suffered a right hamstring strain and will miss at least 10 days.
An MRI confirmed the injury, which medical staff will reevaluate after 10 days. Harden missed two games last week with the strain. He returned to the lineup briefly in Monday's win over the New York Knicks before aggravating the injury.
Kevin Durant expected to return
Meanwhile, the Nets revealed good news about their other injured superstar. Kevin Durant is listed as probable for Wednesday's game against the New Orleans Pelicans. Durant also suffered a hamstring injury and hasn't played since Feb. 13.
Will the Nets' big 3 ever play together?
While Durant's return is obviously welcome news in Brooklyn, Harden's absence will continue a troublesome trend. Since the Nets acquired Harden in a Jan. 13 trade from the Houston Rockets, Durant, Harden and Kyrie Irving have played together in a total of seven games as each of Brooklyn's stars has battled injury.
The good news for Brooklyn is that it's thrived regardless as it's generally been able to play two of the three stars at the same time. The Nets are off to an Eastern Conference-best 35-16 start despite the nagging injuries.
Bad news for Harden's MVP campaign
Harden leapt into the MVP conversation as the Nets continued to win. He's excelled as Brooklyn's primary facilitator while averaging 25.4 points, 11 assists and 8.7 rebounds since joining the Nets. His hamstring injury marks a new test for Brooklyn.
But the Nets will have no motivation to rush Harden back. While they would surely like to maintain their status atop the Eastern Conference and secure home-court advantage in the postseason, having their stars healthy for the playoffs is a much higher priority.
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