SIXERS HALF-GAME AHEAD: NETS JAMES HARDEN’S HAMMY SETBACK!

By Teddy Brenner

There’s bad news for the Brooklyn Nets, who are a half-game behind as they pursue the Sixers for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

James Harden experienced what the Nets are calling a “setback” in his hamstring rehabilitation and is now out indefinitely.

“Back to square one,” Nets coach Steve Nash said yesterday. “We’ll rehabilitate him and get him back whenever we can, and who knows when that will be. We’ll support James and our performance team in getting him back in as best condition as possible. And hopefully that comes sooner than later, but there’s no guarantee.”

Harden experienced the setback Monday during an “on-court rehab session” and had an MRI yesterday. Nash said that Harden didn’t fall or execute a specific maneuver that caused him discomfort.

“He just felt it,” Nash said. “He didn’t fall or stumble or anything out of the ordinary; he just felt something maybe in the ballpark of a strain. Then the scan revealed he did suffer a setback. So not much more to it other than just disappointment and that we have to rebuild and get him going again.”

Harden has missed the Nets’ past six games. He last played on April 5 against the New York Knicks, when he logged just four minutes before suffering a strain. Harden had been dealing with some hamstring tightness before exacerbating the issue against the Knicks. He had been progressing well in his rehab and traveled with the team on its current road trip to continue to ramp up his 3-on-3 and 4-on-4 workouts.

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