Joel Embiid on Monday will have an MRI on his injured left knee and is now listed as out indefinitely.
Embiid has been experiencing swelling and soreness in the left knee injury that has caused him to miss 16 out of the last 17 games. Bryan Colangelo announced back on Feb. 11 that Embiid has a minor meniscal tear. In his most recent press conference last Friday, Colangelo had targeted this Friday's home game against the Knicks as a possibility for Embiid's return. Now, that isn't the case (see story).
"We've had to play without him for a little bit," T.J. McConnell said of Embiid. "We can't sit here and complain that he's not playing. People need to step up. I think Jahlil (Okafor) has done that and even some other guys have stepped up too. We've got to keep doing that for however long he's out."
If Embiid does not play again this season, he'll finish with 31 games played after sitting out his first two years.
Since 1960, there have been 87 players who were 7-feet or taller and played fewer than 50 games over their first three seasons. One is Embiid. None of the other 86 went on to have meaningful NBA careers.
The company we're looking at: Mamadou N'Diaye, Rouben Boumtje-Boumtje, Tibor Pleiss. It's an ugly list.— Corey Seidman (@CSeidmanNBCS) February 27, 2017
Related: Greg Oden — yes, even Greg Oden — played twice as many games as a rookie as Joel Embiid has in his first 3 seasons.— Corey Seidman (@CSeidmanNBCS) February 27, 2017
With Embiid out, even more emphasis will be placed on Okafor's second half. He's coming off his best game of the season in Saturday's one-point loss to the Knicks -- 28 points, 10 rebounds and the go-ahead bucket with nine seconds left.
"I'm just trying to do the best I can for my teammates and for myself," Okafor said. "My mindset's still the same. Joel's going to do the proper things to make sure that he's a hundred percent. I know the medical staff will as well. My support is with him but my mindset doesn't change."
CSNPhilly.com's Jessica Camerato contributed to this report.