76ers' James Harden Updates Injury Rehab, Return Timeline from Tendon Strain in Foot

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVNovember 17, 2022

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 13: James Harden #1 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on against the Utah Jazz at the Wells Fargo Center on November 13, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Philadelphia 76ers star point guard James Harden told reporters on Thursday he's "on pace" with the original recovery timeline for the tendon strain in his right foot, which projected he would miss about a month of action.

Harden added that he's no longer in a walking boot and has begun doing some work on the treadmill and did a shooting drill on Thursday.

Derek Bodner @DerekBodnerNBA

James Harden with the walking boot off going through shooting drills at the Sixers training facility in Camden. Harden is working his way back from a tendon sprain in his right foot. <a href="https://t.co/avURW2yGef">pic.twitter.com/avURW2yGef</a>

"You've got the rehab. You've got the pool workouts. The AlterG, which is basically a treadmill but it's helping you at a nice pace," Harden said of the recovery process. "Hopefully once the pain fully goes away we'll start going to the court and then you've got a week of just building the cardio back up, things like that. So, I feel good."

Rich Hofmann @rich_hofmann

James Harden: "I feel good, on pace." Still thinks that he's a couple weeks away from returning.<br><br>Says he's been running on the anti-gravity treadmill and doing pool workouts. Has taken off the boot and started to take jumpers. <a href="https://t.co/tS7aWdM5wF">pic.twitter.com/tS7aWdM5wF</a>

Harden suffered the injury during a Nov. 2 loss against the Washington Wizards, though he remained in that game and played 35 minutes. The Sixers said at the time they would reevaluate his status in two weeks.

It halted what was shaping up to be an excellent season for Harden, who averaged 22 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds per game in the first nine games of the season, shooting 44.1 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from three.

While his counting stats weren't dramatically different from what he offered in his 21 games with the team last season after he was dealt to the Sixers (21 PPG, 10.5 APG, 7.1 RPG), it was clear he had more explosiveness and was more aggressive attacking on offense, taking over two more shots per game (15.9 SPG this season compared to 13.6 SPG last season with the Sixers).

The Sixers in general have been something of a disappointment to start the year, going just 7-7, though Joel Embiid's recent hot streak has led to three wins in their last four contests.

Getting Harden back will help, as he's the team's best and most natural playmaker and his pick-and-roll with Embiid is a major weapon for the team.