Former MVP James Harden set for 76ers return against the Rockets on Monday

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James Harden will return to the Philadelphia 76ers starting line-up on Monday after five weeks on the sideline recovering from a right foot tendon strain.

The 10-time All-Star and six-time First Team All-NBA honouree missed 14 games after suffering the injury on November 2, with his team going 4-5 in the nine games he has featured in, averaging 21.8 points, 10.0 assists and 7.3 rebounds.

His absence did not kill the 76ers' season, as they went 8-6 without him, thanks in large part to the stellar play of Tyrese Maxey and Shake Milton in expanded roles.

For the month of November, Maxey averaged 22.4 points and 5.6 assists per game – similar to his stats with Harden in the side – but Milton took a massive step up, going from two points per game in October up to 14.2 points, 4.2 assists and 4.2 rebounds.

Despite Harden's return, the 76ers will remain a man down as Maxey has now missed two weeks with a similar foot injury, and is expected back at some point in the next 10 days.

Monday will be Harden's second time playing against his former team the Houston Rockets since joining the 76ers. In the 2017-18 season, Harden became the first Rocket since Hakeem Olajuwon (1993-94) to be named league MVP.