James Harden bumped knees with Memphis wing Quincy Pondexter on Friday night and was forced to leave the game. Rockets coach Kevin McHale told reporters that Harden had a bruised knee and is day-to-day. Neither McHale nor Harden thought the injury was serious after the game.
Given how gingerly Harden had limped to the locker room seven minutes into the game, having been sent sprawling to the floor when Quincy Pondexter ran into his right leg as Harden nailed a 3-pointer, the update from the training room was the best news possible. But by then, the Rockets had a pretty good idea the collision looked worse than the damage done.
“He'll be fine,” McHale said. “I asked him. He said, ‘he hit my knee.' I said, ‘bumped?' He said ‘yeah.' I think that's all it is.”
Harden said he was never concerned the injury could be serious.
“It was painful, but … it's better now,” Harden said.
There's been no report of an MRI or ther diagnostic scheduled, which is rare since that's the approach most teams take with it. Hopefully it's minor and Harden will be set to go for the Rockets' opener Wednesday vs. the Bobcats.