Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Reigning NBA MVP James Harden had to exit the Houston Rockets’ loss to the Utah Jazz on Wednesday with a hamstring injury. He didn’t return to action as the Rockets lost for the third time in four games to start the season.

Following said loss, Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni indicated that Harden would get an MRI on the hamstring. While said MRI has not yet been conducted, it’s rather clear Harden will miss at least one game.

D’Antoni also noted that he believes the injury is more likely to be a strain rather than simple tightness.

Despite Houston’s struggles to start this season, there’s absolutely no reason why the team should rush Harden back. He relies on his quickness. A nagging hamstring injury could impact his performance. More important, if he returns before he’s 100 percent, it could be a season-long issue.

Houston is slated to take on the Los Angeles Clippers Friday, but doesn’t play again after that until Tuesday. Giving him rest for at least one game, pending the MRI results, is probably the best move for the Rockets.