Sixers Injury Update: Al Horford is questionable vs. Nets with left hand sprain

Sixers Injury Update: Al Horford is questionable vs. Nets with left hand sprain

The Sixers might be without their best two center options for Monday afternoon’s game against the Brooklyn Nets.

Al Horford is questionable with a left hand sprain. He sustained the injury with 6:31 left in the third quarter Saturday night vs. the Knicks after being fouled by Reggie Bullock.

"Yeah, I just took a fall there, landed on the hand,” Horford told reporters. “We’ll see where we’re at tomorrow. It’s pretty sore right now, but I’m just glad I was able to stay in the game and give the team whatever I could. … It’s definitely uncomfortable. In this game you always play through injuries and things like that. I just wanted to make sure that I did what I could. We’ll see where I’m at tomorrow, and hopefully good to go for Monday.”

Horford scored a season-low four points vs. the Knicks on 2 for 9 shooting. In the six games since Joel Embiid has been out because of a torn ligament in the ring finger of his left hand, the Sixers have gone 4-2 with Horford as their starting center.

According to multiple reports, Norvel Pelle will be listed as available but his status could change. The team is in a precarious situation with Pelle, who has one NBA day remaining on his two-way contract. The Sixers have opted against converting Pelle to an NBA deal for the time being to prioritize flexibility ahead of the Feb. 6 trade deadline, which has left them in this spot. The 26-year-old rookie has played 13 NBA games and averaged 2.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.5 blocks.

On Friday vs. the Bulls, the Sixers decided not to use up one of Pelle’s NBA days, and Kyle O’Quinn played nearly 16 minutes, his first action of 2020.

It looks like Ben Simmons playing some at center could be a possibility. Brett Brown used Simmons as a small-ball five in the first half on Jan. 9 vs. Boston and after the game said, “I suspect you’ll see it again.”

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Sixers' Joel Embiid undergoes successful surgery for torn ligament in his finger

Sixers' Joel Embiid undergoes successful surgery for torn ligament in his finger

Joel Embiid had successful surgery Friday afternoon in New York for a torn radial collateral ligament of the fourth metacarpal on his left hand, a team source told NBC Sports Philadelphia. The Sixers' center will be re-evaluated in 1-2 weeks.

Embiid was in New York on Thursday night during the Sixers' win over the Boston Celtics, though he FaceTimed into the team's locker room after the game. 

He suffered the injury Monday night when the Sixers played the Thunder and stayed in the game despite experiencing a high level of pain.

The Sixers are 25-14 this year and 4-4 without Embiid. 

Head coach Brett Brown said before Thursday's game that he's prepared to put a "blowtorch" on the Sixers' normal defensive principles, and we saw vs. the Celtics that the team's approach was much different with Al Horford as its starting center.

"Whether somebody is going to switch or somebody’s going to quick hedge, somebody’s back a little bit in a corral type thing like Al — everybody had to react to kind of a different game plan," Brown said. "We’ve got Al up, now what? And the defense behind it, now what? And it’s something that I thought our defense did a really good job with.”

Mike Scott was the Sixers' fifth starter against the Celtics, scoring seven points in 26 minutes. 

Brown also experimented with Ben Simmons as a small-ball center, a look that he said, "I suspect you'll see again." Two-way player Norvel Pelle was Horford's main backup and provided energy, rim protection and a screening and rolling threat (see story).

The Sixers will play the Mavericks on Saturday night (8:30 p.m/NBCSP) and the Pacers on Monday (7 p.m./NBCSP+) before returning home for games vs. Brooklyn and Chicago. 

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Joel Embiid diagnosed with torn ligament in his finger, will have surgery Friday

Joel Embiid diagnosed with torn ligament in his finger, will have surgery Friday

Updated: 6:20 p.m.

Sixers All-Star center Joel Embiid has been diagnosed with a torn radial collateral ligament of the fourth metacarpal on his left hand. In layman’s terms, it’s around the knuckle closest to his palm on his left ring finger.

Embiid was seeing an off-site specialist on Wednesday while the team was practicing in Camden. He has elected to have surgery Friday in New York and will be re-evaluated in 1-2 weeks, per a team spokeperson.

He suffered the injury in Monday’s win against the Thunder. His finger was grotesquely dislocated, but Embiid re-entered the game and recorded 18 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. 

With Embiid out, expect Al Horford to start at center with veteran Kyle O’Quinn and two-way player Norvel Pelle to get the minutes off the bench at the five.



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