Joel Embiid

Joel Embiid has lateral meniscus injury in left knee, Sixers say 

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The Sixers provided another update Thursday night on Joel Embiid's all-important left knee.

A team official said that an MRI following the Sixers' loss Tuesday to the Warriors and further evaluation over the last 24 hours "revealed an injury to the lateral meniscus" of Embiid's knee.

According to the official, "Embiid, in consultation with the 76ers medical staff and several leading specialists, will be out through the weekend while a treatment plan is finalized."

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that there's "still uncertainty" about how the Sixers will treat Embiid's injury.

Thursday night's game against the Jazz will be the 13th on the sidelines for Embiid this season. Though he returned from a two-game absence with left knee soreness Tuesday to face Golden State, Embiid was clearly hampered throughout the night and not near his normal level physically.

Jonathan Kuminga fell on Embiid's knee in the fourth quarter during a scramble for a loose ball and the reigning MVP limped back to the locker room.

After facing Utah, the Sixers will have three games left before the NBA trade deadline and seven remaining before the All-Star break.

Embiid, who's averaged an NBA-best 35.3 points, 11.3 rebounds and 5.7 assists, is as irreplaceable as any player in the league. The Sixers’ game plans without him have generally featured Paul Reed starts, varied defenses, and heightened offensive responsibility for first-time All-Star Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris. 

“When we’re at our best, Joel’s for sure involved at the defensive end as well,” Sixers head coach Nick Nurse said on Jan. 10. “I know he puts up all these numbers, but you guys (from) Philly know how good of a defender he is as well — in many ways, not just as a sit back in the paint and protect the rim guy. No, he quarterbacks. He directs. He’s got feet; he can build a wall high out there at the point of attack. He can blitz some out there. He can switch ... all that stuff. 

“So it does change a little bit. I think what it changes mostly is what can we do to run the right schemes, what coverages are we in, and who’s matched up with who? How can we get the pieces in the right place?”

Until there’s more definitive word on Embiid’s knee, Nurse and the Sixers will try to answer those sorts of challenging questions one game at a time. 

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