James Harden has advice for Tyrese Maxey as he works through injury

PHILADELPHIA–The Philadelphia 76ers were able to welcome Tyrese Maxey back to the lineup on Dec. 30 in a road matchup with the New Orleans Pelicans after he missed 18 games due to a left foot fracture and he looked rusty in his return.

After then missing the next night against the Oklahoma City Thunder, he played again in the rematch with the Pelicans on Monday and he had 12 points off the bench in the win. It’s only his second game back so the young man is still shaking off the cobwebs a bit while out on the floor.

James Harden, who missed an extended period of time with his own foot injury, had some advice for Maxey as he continues to work his way back.

“Possession by possession,” said Harden. “He had open looks, he had some layups, he had some opportunities that he usually makes, and then the pain in his foot. He still feels it. I was going through that. I’m just now starting to feel normal as far as my foot, but it’s gonna take some games to just play through it and it’ll go away. I thought he looked great.”

As far as the injury itself, Maxey said he’s all healed up. He isn’t worried about the injury at the moment as he continues to work his way back to where he was before the fracture.

“I’m good now,” Maxey explained. “It’s healed. I know that it’s healed. The bone is healed. So I’m happy. I’m happy and I’m confident. I think now it’s just finding my rhythm with the team, getting back in the gym, and shooting the shots I know I’m gonna get. The shots that I need to make. The shots that I was making before.”

Maxey then offered up an interesting perspective about coming back from his injury.

“That and then just staying safe out there,” he continued. “That goes for everybody. You just pray for everybody’s safety because anything can happen out there in the court.”

Now, does that mean that Maxey is no longer going to play with the same aggressiveness that he has in the past? Is he going to think about the foot every time he’s on the floor?

“I thought about it probably the first half of the New Orleans game,” Maxey continued. “In the first half, I thought about it just because you know it’s there. You what happened, it’s in the back of your head, but as soon as I got back in the second half, there’s no thought of it. You can’t play with fear and I never played with fear.”

Maxey, Harden, and the Sixers will now host the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday.

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Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire