James Harden returns to Sixers following a 10-day absence

Harden
Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden, left, greets Brandon Chinn, 76ers Director of Basketball Communications, during the NBA basketball team’s practice on Thursday, Oct. 5, 2023, in Fort Collins, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The NBA regular season has officially begun, and one day ahead of the Philadelphia 76ers‘ season debut, disgruntled star James Harden has returned to Philadelphia’s practice facility as the team prepares for one last practice before heading off to Milwaukee to face the Bucks Thursday night, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Harden had spent the previous ten days away from the team, reportedly in Houston, as he dealt with a personal matter. The nature of the matter is not publicly known, though some have made the choice to speculate. Either way, the Sixers had publicly voiced their acceptance of his reasoning and were, at least on the surface, willing to give him the space and time that he needed to attend to the matter.

Now, as the team is set to start the season tomorrow night on the road, Harden has returned and will begin to ramp up with plans to join the Sixers on the court eventually.

[When] Will Harden play?

Harden
Philadelphia 76ers guard James Harden (1) drives to the basket against Boston Celtics center Al Horford (42) during the first half of Game 2 in the NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinals playoff series, Wednesday, May 3, 2023, in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Bleacher Report’s Chris Haynes reported shortly after that Harden was prepared to travel with the team should they mutually agree that is the best course of action. The alternative being that he would remain in Philadelphia as he continues to prepare for live game action. Ultimately, it was decided that he would stay in Philly for the time being.

The possibility of Harden joining the Sixers for their trip to Toronto for Saturday’s game initially drew some curiosity. Wojnarowski however cleared up that idea stating that the hope is to have him return to game action following the Sixers’ road trip. Harden has quite a bit of ground ahead of him after missing the entire preseason and not practicing since October 15th. It could be some time until he’s ready for live game action, assuming that is his intent.

More updates to come as they’re made available.