Joel Embiid is out for the Sixers' game Thursday night vs. the Knicks with a left shoulder sprain, a team spokesperson confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski first reported Embiid was out.
Embiid is undergoing an evaluation today, the spokesperson said.
Norvel Pelle, who'd missed the team's last two games with an upper respiratory illness, is available to play. Kyle O'Quinn served as the team's third-string center Wednesday and was called into meaningful duty for the first time since Jan. 20, posting six points and four blocks.
In the first quarter of the Sixers' 108-94 loss Wednesday night to the Cavaliers, Embiid collided with Ante Zizic while looking to gain position in the post and grabbed at his left shoulder in apparent pain. He grimaced while missing two free throws, and the Sixers then had Furkan Korkmaz take a foul to create a stoppage so Embiid could go back to the locker room.
Though Embiid returned to the bench briefly early in the second quarter, he had a short conversation with head athletic trainer Kevin Johnson and then returned to the locker room. He talked with general manager Elton Brand in the tunnel. Brand had said in September that he'd be "more a part of it with the players in a partnership for their care."
The Sixers are already without their other All-Star, Ben Simmons. He has nerve impingement in his lower back and is set to be re-evaluated in approximately two weeks.
Without Simmons and Embiid, the Sixers will look to improve their NBA-best home record to 28-2 with a win over the Knicks. Overall, the team is 36-23 and a half-game behind the Heat for the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.
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