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Brooklyn Nets' James Harden to return after missing game with hamstring injury

Brooklyn Nets' James Harden to return after missing game with hamstring injury
Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (13), shown Jan. 17, was a late scratch against the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday due to a hamstring injury. Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Brooklyn Nets superstar guard James Harden will return to the lineup against the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night after missing one game with a hamstring injury.

Nets head coach Steve Nash told reporters Friday that Harden was able to go through practice and is "ready to go" against the Warriors this weekend.

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Harden was a late scratch against the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday because of left hamstring tightness.

The return of Harden comes at a critical time for the Nets, who have lost three straight games. Brooklyn is counting on Harden to provide offensive stability over the next few weeks as the team attempts to overcome Kyrie Irving's COVID-19 limitations and Kevin Durant's knee injury.

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Durant is expected to miss multiple weeks due to a sprained MCL in his left knee. The Nets have posted a 2-6 record since Durant's Jan. 15 knee injury.

Meanwhile, Nash said Irving needs additional time on the Nets' upcoming five-game road trip to build up his rhythm after not playing NBA basketball for nearly three months.

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Irving, who isn't vaccinated against COVID-19, is unable to play in home games at Barclays Center due to a New York City vaccination mandate.

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"He's still trying to find his game," Nash said. "His level's so good that it's hard to tell, but we can tell, he can tell. He knows that he's not fully back yet. He's right there, and he has patches, but he needs the time. ... He needs reps.

"And games are reps for him right now. So, it's great for him individually. And as a group, it's great to get more comfortable with him, to spend more time with him. To get him reincorporated with the things we're doing and try to move this thing forward."

After facing the Warriors, the Nets (29-19) will play the Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, Utah Jazz and Denver Nuggets on their road trip.

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