Updated: 10:05 p.m.
According to a Sixers spokesperson Thursday night, testing on Joel Embiid’s left shoulder confirmed a left shoulder sprain and showed no significant structural damage. Embiid’s progress will be symptom-based and he is expected to be re-evaluated in approximately one week, the spokesperson said.
Embiid sustained the injury in the first quarter Wednesday night against the Cavaliers on a collision with Ante Zizic. He missed two free throws after the play, appearing to be in significant pain, before Furkan Korkmaz took a foul so Embiid could exit the game. Though Embiid briefly returned to the bench in the second quarter, he left after talking to head athletic trainer Kevin Johnson and had a conversation with GM Elton Brand in the tunnel on his way back to the locker room.
Brett Brown said he was relieved to hear that Embiid’s injury was not more severe.
“The fact that there is no structural damage we all hear loudly, and maybe it’s as simple as that in some ways,” he said. “Of course. And it’s as much from the personal standpoint as it is [as a] selfish coach. He’s looking forward to this run home, the final third, the responsibility. No [Ben Simmons], for how long we’ll all figure out in time. To learn that from his perspective, and again, from the team’s perspective, that is exciting news.”
The Sixers, who improved to 28-2 at home with a win Thursday over the Knicks, are also without Simmons, who has nerve impingement in his lower back and will be re-evaluated in approximately two weeks.
Al Horford started at center Thursday and had his best game since the All-Star break, posting 15 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. Though Norvel Pelle was available after missing the past two games with an upper respiratory illness, Brown went with Kyle O’Quinn as his backup center.
The team is set to travel West for a four-game road trip that begins Sunday and features games against the Lakers and Clippers. At 9-21 away from Wells Fargo Center, the Sixers have the worst record of any team currently in playoff position.
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