The Philadelphia 76ers have been bit by the injury bug during the preseason. As guys like Matisse Thybulle and Tobias Harris dealt with minor but notable setbacks early on, they've struggled to get on the court over the last few games.
When the Sixers kicked off the preseason against the Toronto Raptors a little over a week ago, Tobias Harris missed the matchup as he dealt with knee soreness. After getting kneed in the knee during a workout, the Sixers kept the veteran forward off the floor for precautionary reasons.
The following game, Harris made his preseason debut. After appearing on the court for roughly three quarters, he got the rest of the night off. Then when the third preseason outing against the Brooklyn Nets came around, Harris was ruled out once again. As for Thybulle, he's been dealing with a shoulder issue.
After making his preseason debut during the opener last Monday, Thybulle was ruled out for the next two games. Following Wednesday's practice, Sixers head coach Doc Rivers mentioned both Thybulle and Harris' statuses for Friday's preseason finale depended on how Thursday's practice session went.
While Thybulle was in uniform on Thursday, Rivers doesn't believe he'll appear on the court against the Detroit Pistons. As for Harris, he participated in pre-practice activities but was not considered a full participant.
"I mean, he did everything today before practice," Rivers said in regards to Harris. "All of the running and stuff but nothing team-wise. He won't go to Detroit -- I know that for sure. Neither will Matisse (Thybulle) I think, or Shake (Milton), or Grant (Riller)."
While Harris' second-straight absence is slightly concerning, Rivers made it clear that the team is simply taking it easy with their starting power forward. As preseason doesn't count for anything, the 76ers want to make sure they make it to the regular season with a fully healthy roster.
"This is a part of the plan," he continued. "Like, if this were playoffs, Tobias would be playing; let's put it that way. We just felt like getting ahead of it. Make sure there is no lingering problems. Everybody who is out other than Shake or Grant would probably be playing tonight if it was a playoff game. But sitting with people that are smarter than me feel like building them up. We play Friday, we'll have Saturday off, then we have three good days of practice, and we are hoping every single guy is on the practice floor by Sunday. That's what we are looking for."
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.