James Harden expects to play vs. Kings despite lingering hand issue

James Harden
James Harden reacts during the second half against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center.
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

If James Harden can move his hand, he’s going to be on the court.

That’s what kept him off the floor on Saturday against the Golden State Warriors, but he expects to be playing on Wednesday in Sacramento. Harden returned to the Nets lineup on Tuesday in their loss to the Phoenix Suns.

“I mean yeah,” Harden responded when asked if he would play Wednesday. “I couldn’t move my hand on Friday and that’s why I didn’t play the last game at all, but I can move it. I’m playing.”

Harden put up 22 points in his first game back and shot 6-of-19 from the field. It was far from his best performance, but the Nets were happy to have two of their “Big 3” on the floor on Tuesday night. Harden had been dealing with the hand injury for a few weeks and he had been playing through it.

He attributed it to trying to get to the basket and the physical nature of the game, but it got worse when he was lifting weights the day before the Nets left on their current road trip.

“I probably irritated it or whatnot,” Harden said. “That next morning I woke up and I really couldn’t move my hand at all. It actually woke me up pretty early. I was just calling trainers just to figure out what the hell was going on. Then I got an MRI and it was a strain.

“It’s calmed down, I’m back on the court, and try to keep going.”

Harden said that he’ll have to continue to get treatment and continue to keep the swelling down to manage the ailment.

Brooklyn will need everyone they can get on the floor to help snap their current five-game skid, which is their longest losing streak since  2020. They’ll take on the Sacramento  Kings on Wednesday.