Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid will miss at least two games with a left mid-foot sprain, the team announced on Monday. The five-time NBA All-Star's status will be reevaluated in the coming days.
The Sixers were already without James Harden (right foot sprain) and Tyrese Maxey (left foot fracture) entering a home game against the Brooklyn Nets on Monday, when Philadelphia is expected to host an active Ben Simmons for the first time since he held out and forced a trade from the team last season.
Embiid has also been ruled out for Wednesday's road game against the Charlotte Hornets. The 76ers are scheduled to visit the Orlando Magic for games on Friday and Sunday. Whether Embiid travels with his team on Tuesday for the start of a three-game road trip could reveal 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 the injury with 5:33 remaining in the game, as teammate Georges Niang collided with Wolves star Karl-Anthony Towns on an offensive foul and rolled into Embiid. Embiid fell to the ground and grabbed his left foot in pain but eventually stayed in for the rest of the game.
Embiid is averaging 32.3 points (on 52/27/84 shooting splits), 10.1 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.8 blocks in 35.4 minutes per game this season, cementing himself as a serious MVP candidate for a third straight year.
The biggest hurdle 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 fractured right foot and the last half of his third season with a torn meniscus in his left knee. Back, ankle, knee and orbital injuries have prevented him from playing full seasons over the past five years.
The average number of missed games for a mid-foot sprain is 11, per Jeff Stotts of In Street Clothes.
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