James Harden Injury: Concussion Tests Await Thunder Swingman

James Harden suffered perhaps the hardest elbow of the weekend on Sunday -- no small task considering Jon Jones and the UFC held an event on Saturday night -- when he caught in the crossfire of a Metta World Peace celebration during the double-overtime game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Oklahoma City Thunder.

Harden was initially cleared to return to the game by the Thunder doctors, but that diagnosis was overruled when it was determined he was suffering from the effects of a concussion. Now, as Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman explains, it could be awhile until Harden is able to rejoin his teammates.

Under the NBA's newly instituted concussion policy, Harden can return to the court only after passing a rigorous evaluation process that could take several days. Once he's considered free of concussion symptoms, Harden must make it through increasing stages of exertion -- from riding a stationary bike, to jogging, to agility work, to individual basketball skills -- while ensuring the symptoms don't return after each stage.

If Harden passes each test the team then has to consult with Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, the director of the NBA's concussion program, to determine when Harden can return. The NBA's concussion policy went into effect at the start of training camps this season.

There's no telling how long it will take Harden to recover, considering some players have returned just a few days after the initial impact while it takes others months to show that they're free of the symptoms. Hopefully Harden is a member of the former group rather than the latter.

For more on Harden and the Thunder, head over to Welcome to Loud City. Be sure to stick with SB Nation NBA for the latest on the fallout from Sunday's incident as it becomes available.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.