It seems as if the Philadelphia 76ers have a problem with a star to deal with aside from Ben Simmons’ continued absence. On ESPN’s NBA Today, Ramona Shelburne stated that, after bumping knees during the team’s season opener against the New Orleans Pelicans, Embiid was unable to walk for a few days.
“He told me after this game in New Orleans, he couldn’t walk for two days,” Shelburne said, “but he still went out and played in Oklahoma City, and obviously, he played against the Knicks and the Nets.”
.@ramonashelburne on Joel Embiid playing through injuries (via NBA Today).
"He told me after this game in New Orleans, he couldn't walk for two days." 😳
(via NBA Today) pic.twitter.com/yuq6fdbfDN
— ESPN (@espn) October 27, 2021
As for why Embiid is continuing to push through despite being obviously banged up — particularly because this is the same right knee that gave him trouble last year — Shelburne reports that it goes back to the ongoing saga involving the team’s other All-Star.
“He’s playing because Ben Simmons is not playing, and they need one of them on the court, and [Embiid] wants to show leadership,” Shelburne said. “At this moment, you don’t want to fall behind to where you cannot come back. But he’s settling for a mid-range game that he doesn’t have right now.”
Shelburne also mentioned that Embiid’s injury woes might have cost him an MVP award last year, and that there is some chatter that Embiid should sit a game or two in order to let his meniscus heal.
The Sixers have four consecutive home games on the horizon, including back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday. It is unclear if the team will opt to let Embiid rest at any point during that stretch.