Joel Embiid didn’t quite look like himself on Saturday afternoon as the Philadelphia 76ers lost to the Toronto Raptors in Game 4 of their first round series. It prevented Philly from picking up a sweep, but more importantly, questions were raised about whether Embiid can play at an MVP level with a compromised right hand — the big man had 21 points on 7-for-16 shooting with eight rebounds and five turnovers.
The Sixers said that Embiid was dealing with an injured ligament in his right thumb, but the plan was for him to play on Saturday then get an MRI upon returning to Philadelphia. On Sunday, Sixers coach Doc Rivers announced that the MRI was completed and Embiid is, indeed, dealing with a ligament tear.
Doc Rivers says Joel Embiid’s MRI confirmed the ligament tear in his right thumb but that nothing changes in terms of Embiid’s availability or treatment.
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) April 24, 2022
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN, the injury is so severe that Embiid needs to undergo surgery, but he is able to put it off until the offseason.
Joel Embiid will require surgery to address the ligament tear in his right thumb, but that procedure will wait until after the Sixers' season, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 24, 2022
It is unclear exactly when or how Embiid suffered the injury, but after playing the first half of Game 3 without anything on his hand, he emerged from halftime with a brace on his thumb, which he also had one during Game 4. Embiid has caused headaches for Toronto during the series, averaging 26 points and 11.8 rebounds in 39.5 minutes per game as the Sixers have opened up a 3-1 series lead.