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The Early Lead
Posted at 10:35 AM ET, 04/24/2012

Metta World Peace awaits word on punishment by NBA; James Harden not yet cleared to play


James Harden was flattened by Metta World Peace’s elbow on Sunday. (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images)

Oklahoma City guard James Harden remains listed as day-to-day after suffering a concussion when Metta World Peace of the Los Angeles Lakers struck him squarely in the head with an elbow Sunday.

Harden, who fell to the court after World Peace’s elbow hit him just above his left ear, is not expected to play in the final two regular-season games tonight and Wednesday, according to the Oklahoman. World Peace, who was ejected from the game, and the Lakers await word about any possibile punishment from the NBA. World Peace has been suspended 13 times over his NBA career.

The league instituted a new concussion policy in December and Harden must pass a number of tests before he will be cleared to play. “Harden participated in a series of limited activities per NBA guidelines,” the team said in a statement, “but has additional steps that must be taken under the league-mandated concussion policy before he can make his return to the court.”

Harden, the Thunder’s sixth man, is averaging 16.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.7 assists. He was expected to return to the game after halftime Sunday, but his symptoms worsened and he was held out, the Oklahoman reported. Oklahoma City is in second place in the Western Conference standings.

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By  |  10:35 AM ET, 04/24/2012

 
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