Testing Friday showed no structural damage to Tobias Harris’ right knee, according to a Sixers team official, after Harris left the Sixers’ win over the Mavericks Thursday night in the third quarter with a right knee contusion and did not return.
Harris will be out for the Sixers' game Saturday night vs. the Cavs and be re-evaluated in approximately 48 hours, the official said.
The 28-year-old missed three games earlier this season because of health and safety protocols, and the shorthanded Sixers went 1-2 during that stretch. He’s almost always been available in recent seasons, having played 72 of the Sixers’ 73 regular-season games last year and 82 games in the 2016-17 and 2018-19 campaigns.
Harris is diligent about taking care of his body and considers physicality one of his strengths.
“It’s a major part of my game,” he said on Feb. 19. “When you look at different guys who are matched up with me, it’s either I’m taller than them or stronger or faster. I try to just use one of those every night. ... I take care of my body in a great way; I’m always cognizant of my sleep, my recovery, my rest, to be able to give it a go every single night at a high level. That’s one of the reasons why I’m able to be that physical on the floor.”
On Feb. 24 of last season, Harris appeared in a Sixers win over the Hawks despite having been initially listed as doubtful with a right knee contusion and admitting after the game he was “battling through it a little bit.” He had a scary fall in Game 4 of the Sixers’ first-round series defeat to the Celtics, suffering a left eye laceration but returning to the action in the fourth quarter. Otherwise, health was not a concern for Harris.
With the Sixers’ bench unreliable, Harris has often been asked to play alongside the team’s second unit recently. Over the last eight games heading into Thursday night, he’d averaged 37.4 minutes.
The Sixers have three games left before the All-Star break, home contests vs. the Cavaliers, Pacers and Jazz, before beginning their second-half schedule on March 11 against the Bulls in Chicago.
Harris had his strongest case yet to be an All-Star but was not one of seven Eastern Conference reserves selected. Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid are the Sixers’ All-Star representatives for a third consecutive season, while Sixers head coach Doc Rivers will lead the team captained by Kevin Durant.
“He’s really keeping the game simple,” Rivers said after Harris scored a season-high 36 points against the Jazz on Feb. 15. “He’s playing with great force, he’s scoring from the three, off the dribble, in the post. He’s doing exactly what we believe he can do.”
Over his first 30 games, Harris has posted 20.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game. His 122.8 points per 100 shot attempts and 0.71 assist-to-usage ratio would both be career-bests, per Cleaning the Glass.