CAMDEN, N.J. — With nine days remaining this month, the Sixers' top three scorers have all suffered foot injuries in November.
Joel Embiid was the latest addition on Monday to the team's eyesore of an injury report. A team official said Embiid will miss the Sixers' upcoming back-to-back — Tuesday vs. the Nets and Wednesday against the Hornets — with a left mid-foot sprain.
Embiid's status will be "re-evaluated in the coming days," per the official. Speaking after practice, head coach Doc Rivers did not place a timeline on when Embiid might be back.
In the fourth quarter of a narrow loss Saturday to the Timberwolves, Embiid tripped over Georges Niang and immediately grabbed his foot. He stayed in, but the five-time All-Star said postgame that he was still in pain and walked off following his press conference with a limp.
James Harden suffered a right foot tendon strain on Nov. 2. He said last week that his rehab is on track, which would make an early December return feasible. Harden jogged on the treadmill following Monday's practice.
Tyrese Maxey is out because of a small fracture in his left foot. The 22-year-old said Monday it's the first significant injury he's had since his freshman year of high school. Maxey expects to wear a protective boot on his left foot for approximately a week, he said.
On a positive note, Tobias Harris and Furkan Korkmaz seem to be nearing returns. Harris, who's been out the last two games with left hip soreness, said he participated in some of practice and hopes to play against Brooklyn. On Saturday, Korkmaz thought he was "day-to-day." He's been sidelined the past three games with a left knee effusion.
Still, the list of Sixers injuries appears ceaseless. De'Anthony Melton has played through a lingering back issue. P.J. Tucker was "checked out" for an injury at halftime Saturday, according to Rivers, but he played in the second half and took part in Monday's practice. Second-year guard Jaden Springer has a right quadriceps strain.
As long as he stays available, lineups with the 37-year-old Tucker at center will feature more. In a small sample, the Sixers have a minus-1.6 net rating when Tucker plays the five, per Cleaning the Glass. They've been strong offensively (123.0 offensive rating) and struggled to defend, though much of those problems can be chalked up to matchups against the Wizards and 7-foot-3 Kristaps Porzingis when Embiid had an illness.
Paul Reed and Montrezl Harrell are also likely to assume bigger roles. The 8-8 Sixers are scrambling for solutions and almost anything might be on the table in the short term, including much heavier doses of zone defense.
Embiid has long been central to the Sixers' team identity, and he's lifted them to a 4-2 record over their last six Harden-less contests by averaging 37.1 points, 10.7 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 2.3 blocks. Neither he nor the Sixers imagined finding themselves in this situation after just 16 games.