Every season, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid has constant battles with different injuries. Earlier this season, it was Embiid's back that was keeping him off the floor every now and then. When the second half of the season started last month, Embiid went down with a knee injury diagnosed as a bruise.
While Embiid is back in action, he's admittedly not feeling one-hundred percent due to his knee injury. And now, he's got other issues to worry about as well. During Thursday night's game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Embiid was visibly dealing with pain in his shoulder.
Although the 76ers had every intention of managing Embiid's minutes on Thursday, no matter what, since it was the second night of a back-to-back, the big man's night ended after he spent 26 minutes on the court.
Going into Saturday's rematch with the Bucks, Embiid was questionable. Not because of his knee, but because his shoulder was sore. For a moment, it seemed Embiid was going to push through the pain as he warmed up before the game and was originally listed as a starter -- but the Sixers eventually ruled Embiid out for the afternoon, forcing him to miss his 18th game of the season.
After the loss to the Bucks on Saturday, Sixers head coach Doc Rivers didn't have a very detailed update on what Embiid was dealing with. As the head coach was focused on game planning ahead of tip-off on Saturday, Rivers admittedly didn't ask too many questions about how Embiid was feeling. However, Rivers mentioned that if Saturday's game was a part of a postseason series against Milwaukee, he thinks Embiid would've been cleared for action.
“I’m assuming [he would play if it were playoffs], yes, but I honestly can’t give you that answer,” Rivers stated. “I didn’t ask Joel one question about his injury. I think in most cases, if it’s a playoff game, most guys can play."
Since Saturday's game wasn't a postseason matchup, Rivers couldn't be sure if Embiid would've pushed through the soreness or not. The fact that he assumes Embiid could've suited up and played is a promising sign that Embiid's setback isn't too serious, though.