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Wednesday, December 18, 2013
James Harden 'ready to go'

By Nick Friedell
ESPNChicago.com

HOUSTON -- James Harden played Wednesday night against the Chicago Bulls despite suffering a high ankle sprain in Sunday's game against the Sacramento Kings.

"[The swelling] definitely went down a lot," Harden said after Wednesday morning's shootaround. "So I'm going to be ready to go tonight."

Harden's availability gave a big boost to a Rockets team that has dealt with several key injuries already this season.

"Whenever guys step on the court they got to be ready to play," Harden said. "We need a win tonight, we're at home, and we just got to get our flow going a little bit so whatever guy is on the court we got to find a way to win."

Rockets star center Dwight Howard joked that he gave Harden a special potion that got him back out on the floor.

"Well, he's young and I told you I gave him some of that Superman juice the other day so he drunk some," Howard said. "He drunk some Superman juice and he's able to come back. Now it's not the juice that you guys might be thinking of, not that juice, let me clarify. It's not the bad juice. It's just this juice that we got from the planet Krypton, that tends to work to heal bodies a little bit faster."

Howard noted that it was cleared by the league.

"It's not a bad substance," he continued, "[The league] has never heard of it. It's from Krypton. It's mixed with Kryptonite, which is crazy they mix it with this green stuff -- Kryptonite. But it actually works. It healed his body up pretty good."

On a serious note, both Howard and Harden discussed how pleased they are to have coach Kevin McHale back in the fold. McHale missed the last three games after his mother died.

"We're just happy to have him back," Harden said. "He's going through a tough time right now so we just got to be there to support him. But we're happy to have him back and I'm sure he's happy to be back."