After a rough start to the season, the Philadelphia 76ers have finally pulled themselves back to .500 at 8-8, thanks in large part to Joel Embiid’s return to MVP candidate form.
Embiid has scored 32 or more points in five of the Sixers last six games, including an unbelievable 59-point performance in a win over Utah a week ago. That run of play has allowed the Sixers to weather the storm as James Harden has missed the last seven games with a foot strain, but the injuries (specifically foot injuries) are starting to pile up. Tyrese Maxey suffered a foot fracture late last week that will cost him 3-4 weeks, and now Embiid will join his co-stars on the bench with a foot injury of his own, with the Sixers announcing he’ll miss the team’s upcoming back-to-back against the Nets and Hornets with a mid-foot sprain and be evaluated after that.
Sixers say that Joel Embiid (left mid-foot sprain) will miss the upcoming back-to-back games.
His status will be reevaluated in the coming days.
— Kyle Neubeck (@KyleNeubeck) November 21, 2022
Obviously this puts a serious damper on the enthusiasm for Tuesday’s matchup with the suddenly full-strength Nets, which was set to be the first matchup between Embiid and former teammate Ben Simmons. Now, the Sixers will face Brooklyn and Charlotte without their three top stars, and any hopes that they would start to climb the East playoff rankings (currently in 8th) turn to concern they could face an extended stretch without their best players.
Given Embiid’s history of foot issues, including having to sit a chunk of this past summer with plantar fasciitis, there’s always an additional bit of concern when he’s dealing with a foot injury and the Sixers figure to be cautious with their superstar big man.