The stars are falling in Philadelphia. Already down one-half of their superstar duo, Joel Embiid hurt his shoulder in an awkward collision.
Embiid, who dropped 49 points on Monday night, headed to the Sixers’ locker room at the end of the first quarter on Wednesday after colliding with the Cavaliers’ Ante Zizic. The big man was back on the bench with his teammates to start the second quarter but then returned to the locker room for further evaluation.
There didn’t appear to be much contact on the play where Embiid went down. Even so, he was later ruled out for the night with a left shoulder sprain. He will undergo an MRI on Thursday morning.
Furkan Korkmaz was setting a screen and rotated over when Zizic collided with Embiid who immediately clutched at his left shoulder area. The All-Star center winced in pain and slumped over on the court. It didn’t look good despite there seeming to be very little actual contact on the play.
The Sixers were trailing the Cleveland Cavaliers 55-44 at halftime. He had scored three points in eight minutes while Korkmaz had a team-high 10 points, with Tobias Harris chipping with nine. The team was already playing without All-Star point guard Ben Simmons who is out indefinitely — or at least two weeks — with nerve impingement in his back.
Famed NFL Doctor Attempts to Diagnose Embiid’s Injury
If Joel Embiid were to miss significant time, the Sixers would have to rely on backup centers Norvel Pelle (when healthy) and Kyle O’Quinn.
It should be noted that Pelle is dealing with an upper respiratory infection and has missed two consecutive games, including Wednesday’s contest. Other Sixers missing include Marial Shayok (G League) and Zharie Smith (G League).
The team parted ways with power forward Jonah Bolden after the trade deadline to free up roster space for newcomers Glenn Robinson III and Alec Burks. Al Horford can mix it up in the paint, too.
While Embiid’s exact injury was still unknown at halftime on Wednesday night, there were plenty of fake doctors making their best guess on Twitter. Many Sixers fans were poking fun at the 7-footer for being “paper thin” and “too soft.” Remember, Embiid had recently declared himself as the best basketball player in the world.
But one legitimate doctor and noted former NFL physician, David J. Chao, took to social media to offer a quick diagnosis. He referenced that Embiid was holding his “high pectoral area” so maybe it’s a muscle strain of some sort. Chao did say that it “did not give the impression of significant/long term or surgical issue for left shoulder.”
He was later ruled out for the rest of the game with a “left shoulder sprain.” More details coming as we know them.
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