Rockets' James Harden: Could return next week

Harden (hamstring) could be back as early as next week, Kelly Iko of ESPN Houston reports. His first opportunity to play would come Monday against the Clippers.

There was fear that Harden could be sidelined into February, but that may not be the case. He was seen doing some shooting after Wednesday's morning shootaround and is apparently recovering quicker than expected. More word on his rehab and availability should emerge after he's officially re-evaluated, which will likely happen by Sunday at the latest.

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