David Chao, MD: Mystery Surrounds Latest Harden Hammy Injury

Videos by OutKick

Less than a minute into Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals, Brooklyn Nets star James Harden left again with a right hamstring injury and will likely miss more time. He departed the matchup with the Milwaukee Bucks and immediately headed for an MRI.

The same right hamstring has been an issue for Harden since he strained it two months ago. It started as “tightness” and later was labeled a strain. Harden was reportedly close to a return two and a half weeks later, but suffered a setback and ended up missing a total of five weeks.

The reinjury likely means an extended absence and puts a doubt into any playoff return. It is hard to judge the severity of hamstring injuries by video. However, given that Harden missed more than a month the first time, one has to expect at least a two-week absence — meaning the Nets would have to advance against the Bucks without him. The Nets managed to prevail in the series opener, anyway.

The only hope is that Harden pulled up as a precaution after feeling only tightness and that there is no recurrent injury. The MRI showing no additional new damage is the only way we could realistically expect to see him back vs. the Bucks.

Written by Dr. David Chao

David Chao, MD -- known digitally as Pro Football Doc -- is an expert contributor for Outkick. Chao spent 17 seasons as the team doctor for the San Diego Chargers (1997-2013) and is part of the medical team at OASIS in San Diego where he treats and specializes in orthopedic sports injuries, working with high-profile professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, and MLB.


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