Joel Embiid’s left ring finger was stuck pointing in a direction that was anything but natural.
No problem. Pop it back in, put me back in, coach.
That was the long and short of the All-NBA big man’s brief and visually jarring injury to his left hand on Monday night against Oklahoma City. Embiid, merely annoyed at the severely bent digit on his left hand, exited the floor with 1:26 left in the first quarter.
It was promptly popped back into place — and Embiid simply returned to start the second quarter for the 76ers.
“It was pretty bad,” Embiid said after the game. “I was basically playing with one hand. So it was pretty bad, but in the midst of the losing streak, I wanted to make sure that I do everything possible to try to get us the win.”
Per Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Embiid said he thought he injured his finger a couple of plays before he was subbed out with 5:39 left in the first quarter. The gruesome injury was something Embiid’s teammates were both put off by and concerned about.
”I nearly threw up when I saw that,” 76ers guard Ben Simmons said after Monday’s 120-113 win. ”I’m glad he came back out. We needed him. He’s a big part of this team.”
“I was worried,” said Al Horford, per ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. “I have had a dislocated finger, but I don’t know if it was dislocated or more severe. It looked pretty bad. I was relieved once I saw him come in so quickly and be able to go for the start of the second quarter.”
The injury prevented Embiid from playing with his usual force on the glass and he lost a bunch of rebounds to Steven Adams.
”I felt my finger snapping and I thought I fractured it,” Embiid said. ”They did some X-rays and said it was nothing.”
Embiid said there was a chance he might not play Thursday against Boston (7 ET, TNT).
“You know I want to play,” he said. “It is a big game. Last time we played them we had great success, but then again, whatever they want me to do. Obviously I will try to fight it. But they care about me and whatever they want me to do I guess.”
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.