James Harden Injury: Updates on Rockets Star's Ankle

Tyler ConwayFeatured ColumnistFebruary 13, 2013

February 10, 2013; Sacramento, CA, USA; Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden (13) talks to referee Dick Bavetta (27, left) during the third quarter against the Sacramento Kings at Sleep Train Arena. The Kings defeated the Rockets 117-111. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

James Harden is still expected to be in Houston for All-Star Weekend, but the Rockets guard may have a little limp in his step when the NBA's best and brightest descend on his team's city.


UPDATE: Sunday, Feb. 17, at 6:54 p.m. ET by Rob Goldberg

James Harden's status for the All-Star game was in jeopardy, but it appears that he will suit up, according to Jason Friedman of Rockets.com:

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UPDATE: Thursday, Feb. 14, at 12:26 p.m. ET by Brandon Galvin

James Harden (ankle) is progressing nicely, but is uncertain if he will play in Sunday's All-Star game, according to MyFoxHouston.com's Mark Berman.

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UPDATE: Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 10:07 p.m. ET by Tyler Conway

It looks like there has been a change of plans—again. According to the Houston Chronicle's Jonathan Feigen, Harden will not play against the Clippers on Wednesday:

Feigen also noted how strange this particular late-scratch was for the Rockets shooting guard:

When initially reported, Houston holding Harden out seemed like a precautionary move, and the pregame hubbub falls directly in line with that assumption. As of now, he is still expected to play in Sunday's All-Star Game, but one has to wonder just how participatory Harden will wind up being.

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UPDATE: Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 9:50 p.m. ET by Ethan Grant

According to Houston correspondent Jason Friedman, Harden is active and in the starting lineup tonight as the Rockets travel to Los Angeles to face the Clippers:

The news might come as a shock to Rockets fan, especially after earlier reports that he would be forced out of the lineup due to the ankle flare up.

However, it appears Harden will give it a go. We'll see whether he's limited or not by the injury, but either way the Rockets will likely need his scoring presence to knock off the Clippers in a matchup of two current Western Conference playoff teams.

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According to Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears, Harden will miss Wednesday night's game against the Los Angeles Clippers after re-aggravating an ankle injury on Tuesday:

Though this may seem like cause for worry, the Rockets holding out Harden seems to be a precautionary move. The 23-year-old guard injured his ankle in the third quarter of Houston's 116-106 victory over the Golden State Warriors after stepping on David Lee's foot. He ultimately left the game for a short period, per the Rockets' official Twitter feed, but was almost immediately brought back into the contest. 

Prior to his injury, Harden had 20 points and six rebounds, but had struggled to a 5-of-17 shooting performance. Upon return, Harden's off shooting night did not get much better, but he was still able to finish with 27 points, seven rebounds and five assists versus a struggling Warriors team.

That stat line may seem impressive, especially after an injury, but it's become par for the course for Harden in 2012-13. Traded by the Oklahoma City Thunder four days prior to the season, Harden has ascended to superstardom with the Rockets. He was averaging 26.1 points, 5.7 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game while leading Houston to a surprising No. 8 seed in the Western Conference heading into the All-Star break.

Harden's play has been solid enough to garner his first All-Star selection, and he would likely appear on more than a few midseason MVP ballots. So one could probably understand why the Rockets would want to be cautious.

Nevertheless, ankle injuries are prone to re-aggravation, so it will be interesting to see how much Harden plays in Sunday's All-Star Game. Be sure to check back in as we give you the latest updates on Harden's injury status heading into this weekend's festivities.