Philadelphia 76ers All-Star center Joel Embiid sprained his left shoulder in Wednesday night's 108-94 road loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, adding another worry for the Sixers, who are already without guard Ben Simmons.
Embiid collided with Cavaliers center Ante Zizic while being fouled late in the first quarter. The 7-footer held his shoulder in obvious pain but stayed in the game and missed both free throws.
The Sixers pulled Embiid at the next time stoppage and he walked to the locker room while rubbing his shoulder. He briefly returned to the bench in the second quarter, but went back for more evaluation and treatment. At halftime, Embiid rejoined his teammates on the bench with a wrap on his injured shoulder.
Embiid will undergo an MRI exam Thursday to determine the extent of his left shoulder injury, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer's Keith Pompey. Embiid will miss the Sixers' game tonight against the New York Knicks (7 ET, League Pass) because of the injury.
As expected, Joel Embiid (shoulder) will miss tonight’s game against the Knicks and, as expected, Norvel Pelle, will return from upper respiratory infection.— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) February 27, 2020
Joel Embiid is out tonight vs. Knicks. More evaluation on left shoulder sprain ongoing, per source.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 27, 2020
Joel Embiid said he will have an MRI tomorrow.— Keith Pompey (@PompeyOnSixers) February 27, 2020
Embiid had his left arm in a sling and was in visible discomfort following the game. He declined to talk to reporters and had an equipment manager carry his backpack out of the locker room, where the quiet atmosphere summed up the team’s mood.
The Sixers are fifth in the conference. Coach Brett Brown said he didn’t know how long Embiid, who scored a career-high 49 points Monday against Atlanta, will be sidelined.
“I’m really unsure,” Brown said. “It’s not coach-speak, but this is part of the NBA landscape. That’s why you try to accumulate talent and depth.”
Al Horford said his team had a difficult time adjusting without Embiid, who averages 23.8 points and 12 rebounds.
“Obviously, we play through him and once he was out, we didn’t really know what was next,” said Horford, who scored 10 points. “We didn’t quite know how to play. We have to figure out how to play without him.”
On Monday night, Embiid scored a career-high 49 points against Atlanta. He's averaging 23.8 points and 12 rebounds.
His injury comes as the Sixers are preparing to play an indefinite period without Simmons, who missed his second straight game because of a nerve impingement in his lower back. The team hasn't given a timeline on when Simmons will be back.
After facing the Cavs and the New York Knicks on Thursday, Philadelphia will begin a four-game road trip in Los Angeles on Sunday. The Sixers have struggled this season away from home, where they are 27-2.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.