LONDON (Reuters) – Houston Rockets guard James Harden has no cornea damage in his eyes, and the team expects him to have clear vision for Saturday’s Game 3 against the Golden State Warriors, ESPN reported Wednesday.
Harden said he could barely see due to injuries to both eyes Tuesday night, but the reigning MVP was never expected to miss time as the Rockets try to rebound from a 2-0 series deficit.
Before the first quarter of Game 2 was halfway over, Harden took a shot to the face from Warriors forward Draymond Green, whose left hand crashed into Harden while they fought for a missed shot. Harden sustained contusions to both eyes and was cut on the inside of the left eyelid.
After an 11-minute absence, Harden returned but was clearly worse for the wear. He had bloodshot eyes and was squinting and turning his head away from light several times during the game and the postgame press conference.
“I can barely see,” Harden said. “Just tried to go out there and do what I can to help my teammates.”
Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni said only something “catastrophic” would put Harden out of commission. Harden still managed 29 points and notched four assists after returning from the locker room and receiving eyedrops to dull the pain.
“I’m sure he would have loved to play better. Under the circumstances, I thought he played great,” D’Antoni said.
On the other side, Warriors guard Stephen Curry scored 20 points in Golden State’s win despite a finger injury that required X-rays in the second quarter.
Like Harden, Curry said he would be ready for Game 3.
“It hurts, but it’s all right. Didn’t break anything,” Curry said Tuesday night. “Fortunate, and some higher power’s looking out for me on that one. Just gotta deal with pain and hopefully, before Saturday, that goes away and will be fine.”
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said he was bracing for the worst possible news after seeing the injury in real-time, but Curry quickly quelled those fears despite finishing 3 of 13 from 3-point range.
“I looked at the finger and I was just hoping it was a dislocation and not a break,” Kerr said. “And fortunately, that’s what it turned out to be. As far as whether it bothered him, you can ask him that. I thought he did some great things for us and fueled us, and may not have shot the 3 that well, but played a great game for us.”