Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid will miss at least two games with a left midfoot sprain, the team announced Monday. The status of the five-time NBA All-Star will be reassessed in the coming days.
The Sixers were already without James Harden (sprained right foot) and Tyrese Maxey (broken left foot) entering a home game against the Brooklyn Nets on Monday, as Philadelphia is expected to welcome an active Ben Simmons for the first time since he held on and forced a trade from the team last season.
Embiid was also ruled out for Wednesday’s road game against the Charlotte Hornets. The 76ers are scheduled to travel to the Orlando Magic for games Friday and Sunday. That Embiid is traveling with his team on Tuesday for the start of a three-game road trip might say more about the severity of his injury.
Embiid played 36 minutes, including the final 9:40 of the fourth quarter, in Saturday’s 112-109 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. He appeared to suffer from the injury with 5:33 remaining in the game, as team-mate Georges Niang collided with Wolves star Karl-Anthony Towns on an attacking foul and rolled over Embiid. Embiid fell to the ground and grabbed his left foot in pain but ultimately stayed for the remainder of the game.
Embiid is averaging 32.3 points (on 52/27/84 shooting), 10.1 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.8 blocks in 35.4 minutes per game this season, establishing himself as a serious MVP nominee for a third consecutive year.
The biggest obstacle to his pursuit of an MVP trophy has been his health. Embiid has never played more than 68 games in a season since the Sixers selected him No. 3 overall in the 2014 draft. He missed his first two years with a broken right foot and the last half of his third season with a torn meniscus in his left knee. Back, ankle, knee and eye socket injuries have kept him out of full seasons for the past five years.
The average number of games missed for a midfoot sprain is 11, by Jeff Stotts of In Street Clothes.
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