Add Joel Embiid to the growing list of injured players on the Philadelphia 76ers. The All-Star big man is expected to miss the next two games for the Sixers with a mid-foot sprain, per Shams Charania. Embiid suffered the injury in Philly’s loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday.
The injury occurred with 5:33 left in the fourth quarter when Georges Niang fell into Embiid’s ankle after getting called for a charge. Embiid hit the floor and was writhing in pain for a moment after the play, but stayed in for the remainder of the game.
After the game, when asked about his status going forward, Embiid said that hopefully his ankle will feel better after a few days.
“I’m not sure,” Embiid said. “Hopefully somehow it feels better [the next few days], we’ll see.”
Embiid will miss the Sixers’ upcoming back-to-back with matchups against the Brooklyn Nets at home on Tuesday, followed by a trip to play the Charlotte Hornets on the road Wednesday. Hopefully sitting out those two games will be enough rest for the big man, because Philadelphia can’t afford any additional injuries.
The Sixers have already been without James Harden for two weeks with a tendon strain in his right foot. Harden is expected to remain sidelined for at least an additional two weeks with the injury. There’s also the recent injury of guard Tyrese Maxey, who is expected to be sidelined for 3-4 weeks after suffering a bone injury in his foot just a few days ago.
All of these injuries have resulted in a less-than-ideal start to the season for the Sixers, who sit in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with an 8-8 record. And while injuries are never ideal, the timing of these will certainly water down any excitement about the upcoming matchup where the Sixers will host Ben Simmons and the Nets on Tuesday. This will be Simmons’ first time back in Philadelphia since he requested a trade two summers ago, and it was set to be one of the most anticipated matchups on the NBA schedule. Surely Philadelphia fans will let Simmons hear all sorts of boos when he comes to town on Tuesday, but the game itself loses some of its luster with three of Philly’s best players sidelined.