Joel Embiid Gives Cryptic Answer About Potential Ankle Injury Following Loss

Joel Embiid, Sixers

Getty Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers grabs at his feet against the Minnesota Timberwolves in the second half at the Wells Fargo Center on November 19, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Timberwolves defeated the 76ers 112-109.

The Philadelphia 76ers’ injury luck continues to get worse. The team has picked up some notable knocks in recent weeks which include James Harden and Tyrese Maxey each being placed in walking boots with injuries set to keep them out for multiple weeks. Tobias Harris and Furkan Korkamz have also missed the past two games with hip and knee injuries to further complicate things. The Sixers also had a significant scare during the loss to the Timberwolves when Joel Embiid suffered a scary injury late in the fourth quarter.

As the superstar attempted to go for an offensive rebound during a Sixers fast-break, Georges Niang rolled up on Embiid while falling to the floor. It looked similar to an offensive lineman being rolled up by a running back on the football field which is a common cause of injury. The big man went down in a heap and was in a great deal of pain as his ankle rolled underneath him.

Embiid’s Plays Through Pain

Despite the scary-looking injury and massive amount of pain he appeared to be in, Embiid remained in the game. He moved around the court with a notable limp but this did not stop him from leaving it all on the court. Just a few plays after play resumed Embiid dove on the floor for a loose ball and knocked down a crucial three-pointer to pull the Sixers within three points.

In total, Embiid ended the matchup with 32 points, nine rebounds, six assists, and three steals. With the Sixers lacking effective guard play without Maxey and Harden, Embiid took it upon himself to play a larger role in the team’s passing. He also put focus on using his massive frame to attack the rim and this played a role in the Timberwolves’ foul trouble. Rudy Gobert and Naz Reid each picked up five fouls while Karl-Anthony Towns ended the matchup with four. Embiid got to the free-throw line 20 times in the matchup.

While this was another notch in the continued streak of stellar play from Embiid, the status of his ankle will be the bigger concern moving forward.

Embiid’s Comments on Ankle

Following the game, Doc Rivers downplayed the potential injury saying it was a “turned ankle” and did not offer much more insight. Embiid was not as confident in his status when he spoke to the media. The big man admitted he was in pain and had his ankle wrapped at the podium. When discussing the status of the injury and if it could be something that keeps him away from the court he put it, “I’m not sure. Hopefully somehow it feels better [the next few days], we’ll see,” per Rich Hoffman of The Athletic.

The Sixers will be off the next two days but are back in action on Tuesday. This is a game that many fans have circled on their calendars as the Sixers are set to face off with the Brooklyn Nets in what is expected to be Ben Simmons’ first time back on the court in Philadelphia.

Embiid also downplayed the importance of this game and stated, “It’s another game on the schedule. I don’t know those guys. I have nothing against those guys. It’s Brooklyn against Philly. Hopefully I feel better for that game…if I do feel better, I plan on trying to do whatever is possible to get that win,” per Sixers PR.

While the matchup is sure to be a fun one, the status of Embiid will be something to monitor. It is impressive he was able to play through the injury and remain in the game, but given the Sixers’ recent string of luck, they are not in the clear yet. Hopefully, the ankle does not swell up overnight and there is no structural damage. If Embiid is set to miss time in addition to Harden and Maxey, the Sixers would be put on a difficult trajectory for the rest of the season.

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