It was evident the Philadelphia 76ers missed their three-time All-Star big man Joel Embiid this past Sunday night. After Embiid got off to a hot start in the Sixers' first two games against the Washington Wizards and the New York Knicks, the center hit a bit of a bump in the road on Sunday when he dealt with stiffness in his back.
Embiid had plans to play in the second night of his team's back-to-back set of games. When he went out on the court for pregame warmups, though, Embiid didn't feel up to par. After getting evaluated by the training staff, the Sixers deemed Embiid's setback to be minor -- but major enough to keep him out of Sunday's game.
Following the Sixers' double-digit loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, Philly's head coach Doc Rivers made it clear he didn't believe Embiid's injury was serious. "He was actually planning on going," Rivers said on Sunday night. "He went out on the floor, and he had some stiffness in his back, and we just thought, 'Why chance it this early in the season?' There's nothing to be concerned about."
As it turns out, Rivers' assumption is probably correct. While Embiid is still listed on the injury report for Tuesday's game against the Toronto Raptors, the Sixers have the big man listed as probable for the matchup. Per the NBA's rules, probable indicates a 75-percent chance a player will appear in the game.
Barring any last-minute setbacks once again, Embiid should be good to go for Tuesday's game against the Raptors. Coming off a tough road loss against the surprisingly undefeated Cavaliers, the 76ers are looking to bounce back and take advantage of a currently struggling Raptors team.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_