Joel Embiid's name has frequently shown up on the Philadelphia 76ers' injury report over the last week. As the Sixers clinched a spot in the playoffs a couple of weeks back, the team considered resting their four-time All-Star as they want to ensure his injured knee remains one-hundred percent before the postseason.
Despite being questionable for a handful of games, Embiid would push through and play. However, he did finally miss one against the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday night. Going into the matchup, the big man didn't practice with the Sixers on Monday before the team chartered a flight to Indiana.
According to the Sixers' injury report, Embiid is dealing with an undisclosed illness. The 76ers confirm that Embiid's recent health issue is not COVID-19-related. Although he's not in the NBA's health and safety protocol, Embiid still didn't travel with his team on Monday -- and he wouldn't go to Indiana on Tuesday as well.
The Sixers went on to face the Pacers without their big man. At first, it seemed Philly had everything under control, but then they lost it in the second half. As the Pacers rallied against the Sixers, a Joel Embiid-less squad fell short 103-94. With that victory, the Pacers earned themselves an opportunity to compete in the Play-In tournament while also preventing the Sixers from locking up the first seed.
On Thursday night, the Sixers can finally grab the top seed in the Eastern Conference with a win over the Miami Heat, but they might have to do it without their four-time All-Star once again. As the Sixers submitted an injury report on Wednesday night, Embiid was listed as questionable.
According to NBC Sports Philadelphia's John Clark, Embiid did not travel with the Sixers to Miami on Wednesday. While that doesn't automatically rule the big man out for Thursday night's outing, it does reveal that there's a good chance Embiid could wait until the Sixers return home on Friday for the two-game series against the Orlando Magic before taking the court again.