HOUSTON—Expressing concern that the injury could sideline him for the remainder of the postseason, Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden confirmed Friday that he felt something pop in his lower beard during last night’s game against the Golden State Warriors. “I was going up for a rebound, and all of a sudden I heard this loud snap followed by a sudden rush of excruciating pain in the lower part of my beard,” said Harden, adding that he immediately rushed to the locker room clutching his rapidly swelling facial hair in both hands. “I’ve been icing it, but it doesn’t look like the inflammation is going down much, and it still hurts a lot whenever I try running my fingers through it. We’ll see how it feels for tomorrow’s game, but right now I’m just hoping that I don’t need offseason beard surgery.” At press time, Harden was meeting with Rockets medical personnel in order to discuss receiving a cortisone injection directly into his beard that would enable him to play through the pain.

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