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Update on James Harden

by Darnell Mayberry Published: April 23, 2012

After undergoing further tests for concussion symptoms, Oklahoma City Thunder guard James Harden has been listed as day-to-day, the team announced Monday.

It is unlikely that Harden will play in the team’s final two regular season games, which will be played in Oklahoma City on Tuesday against Sacramento and Wednesday against Denver.

Harden underwent a battery of tests on Monday in Oklahoma City in accordance with NBA protocol and will be re-evaluated once again Tuesday.

“Harden participated in a series of limited activities per NBA guidelines, but has additional steps that must be taken under the league-mandated concussion policy before he can make his return to the court,” the team said in a release.

Harden was knocked out of Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers late in the first half after being hit in the head by a vicious elbow thrown by Metta World Peace.

Harden originally was set to return to the game after halftime but returned to the locker room and was held out when symptoms worsened.

The NBA’s new concussion policy, which was instituted at the start of training camp this season, mandates that players diagnosed with concussions must undergo neurological testing and pass a series of exertion protocols that include riding a stationary bike, jogging and individual basketball skills. The policy also mandates that players must remain symptom free after each test, and teams then must consult with Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, the director of the NBA’s concussion program, to determine when a concussed player can return.

Harden, the Thunder’s sixth man, is averaging 16.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists on 49.1 percent shooting, all career-highs. The third-year shooting guard out of Arizona State is projected to win this year’s Sixth Man of the Year award in a landslide.

The Thunder is 2-0 without Harden in the lineup, with wins over New Orleans and Sacramento.


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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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