Joel Embiid continues to be sidelined for the Sixers with a left knee injury. The Sixers big man has not played since prior to the All-Star break on February 13th. Embiid was scheduled to be out at least one week to recover from left knee tendinitis, per the initial team statement.
Joel Embiid is experiencing left knee soreness and will undergo treatment involving physical therapy and load management. He had an MRI which revealed no structural damage. As a precaution, he is listed as out and will be re-evaluated in approximately one week.
It has been longer than a week since the team released this statement, but Philadelphia has not provided an official update. Prior to the Sixers matchup with the Warriors, head coach Brett Brown called Embiid’s status “up in the air” before he was eventually ruled out. Philadelphia Inquirer’s Keith Pompey provided a brief overview of Embiid’s status.
This is not surprising, after Sixers coach Brett Brown said “we’re still learning more” when asked Thursday after Embiid’s knee re-evaluation.
On Feb. 20, Brown downplayed the injury. That’s when he said an MRI on Feb. 19 revealed that it was “a little bit of tendinitis. It’s stuff I think is quite common, actually.” At the time, the coach said he was aware that Embiid was experiencing knee soreness.
Embiid Played in the NBA All-Star Game Before Being Sidelined
The Sixers have emphasized that they are trying to exercise caution when it comes to Embiid. It is still a bit of a mysterious injury given the big man played in the NBA All-Star game prior to the Sixers deciding to rest him. Sports Radio 94WIP’s Jon Johnson provided an initial report about Embiid’s injury.
“Per team source, Joel Embiid had been experiencing occasional knee soreness prior to all-star break, & had been receiving treatment. Returned from break, had precautionary scan, which was clean. Rest and physical therapy to ensure he’s in best health for stretch run,” Johnson tweeted.
Embiid is averaging 27.3 points and 13.5 rebounds this season. Philadelphia is currently clinging to homecourt advantage in the playoffs. Heading into their matchup with the Warriors, the Sixers were the No. 4 seed in the East with a 2.5 game lead on the Celtics. The Sixers were just a half game back from the Pacers, but eight games behind the top-seeded Bucks.
Prior to the trade deadline, the Sixers were aggressive in trying to improve their team. Philly first made a move for Jimmy Butler and later acquired Tobias Harris who has stepped up in Embiid’s absence. Despite their star power, Harris admitted the team is missing Embiid.
“At the end of the day, it’s definitely different,” Harris told the USA Today. “He’s the best center in the NBA…To have him down is tough, but he’s got to get healthy and be ready. We’re going to need him for the late stretch of the season and into the playoffs.”