As the Philadelphia 76ers geared up to take on the Toronto Raptors at home on Thursday, third-year guard Matisse Thybulle was listed as questionable due to shoulder soreness. Hours before tip-off, the team offered an unfortunate update on the status of the 24-year-old defensive standout.
Not only was Thybulle ruled out of the second preseason matchup against Toronto, but a Sixers official confirmed he would have to start a treatment plan right away. As a result, Thybulle was expected to be kept off the court for the next week.
So, when the Sixers returned to their home court on Monday night for a preseason matchup against the Brooklyn Nets, Thybulle was expectedly ruled out. One day prior to the Nets game, Sixers head coach Doc Rivers offered an update.
"He's sitting over there, he's over there now," Rivers said on Sunday. "I think he's close. He won't play tomorrow, I can tell you that. So, that's your scoop of the day. But he's close like, I don't even think if it was a playoff game, I don't know if we would play him tomorrow. So, it's not anything serious, but it's serious enough to sit out a game, I can tell you that. He'll be fine, is my overall thought."
When the Sixers returned to the practice court on Wednesday, Thybulle missed yet another practice. While his absence as of late has been slightly concerning, Doc Rivers offered a more promising update following Wednesday's session.
"I think Matisse may practice tomorrow," Rivers said. "But that would be it of that group [of injured players]. I don't know yet [about their playing status for Friday]. If Matisse practices tomorrow, then we'll have a better idea. If he doesn't practice tomorrow, then he probably won't play on Friday."
All eyes will be on Matisse Thybulle as Thursday's practice approaches. While Thybulle is considered a veteran and has a guaranteed spot in the rotation during the regular season, his absence during the preseason is still unfortunate for the Sixers as they wanted to use that time to allow the third-year guard to develop his offensive game.
If he gets the green light to play against Detroit on Friday, Thybulle will probably garner some considerable playing time to make up for lost minutes over the past week. If not, he'll wrap up the preseason with just one game played.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.