So much for Friday’s expected return against the New York Knicks.
The 76ers announced Monday that Joel Embiid will be sidelined indefinitely due to his left knee injury. With 24 games remaining, it looks like the rookie centre might not play again this season.
He still experiences swelling and soreness in the knee following practices.
Kyle Lowry out of for at least rest of regular season
Embiid has missed 13 consecutive games and 16 out of 17 after suffering a bone bruise Jan. 20. An MRI exam revealed that he also has a slightly torn meniscus. He was expected to return Friday against the Knicks at the Wells Fargo Center.
“The luck he’s had with injuries, you have to feel really bad for him,” point guard T.J. McConnell said of Embiid remaining sidelined. “But his health is most important. I would rather him get healthy and be able to play and try to risk it more.”
Embiid has already missed 27 games this season due to rest and/or injuries. This comes after the third overall pick of the 2014 draft was missed the previous two seasons with corrective surgeries to the navicular bone in his right foot.
Fearful of putting too much stress on his foot, the Sixers formulated the plan to not play him on back-to-backs. And when he did play, the Sixers restricted his minutes.
“Considering all of the work that Joe has put in, and how much time and effort he’s put into it,” swingman Robert Covington said, “for him, this is another test of patience . . . It’s a hit, but it’s another test of adversary.”
Embiid is averaging 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 2.1 assists.
CAVALIERS: Free-agent point guard Deron Williams signed with Cleveland, giving the NBA champions another playmaker to help them defend their title. Williams will initially come off the bench for the Cavs, who have been seeking a backup for all-star Kyrie Irving all season. A 13-year veteran, Williams had his contract bought out last week by Dallas, cleared waivers on Saturday and told the Cavs he would sign with them. Cavs coach Tyronn Lue will likely have Williams run the offence for Cleveland’s second unit, plus he will also allow the Cavs to rest both Irving and LeBron James. Down the line, Lue could use Williams in the starting lineup. Williams has averaged 16.6 points and 8.2 assists in his career since debuting with Utah in 2005.
NETS: Brooklyn waived veteran forward Luis Scola. The ex-Raptor averaged 5.1 points and 3.9 rebounds in 36 games this season, falling out of the rotation as the league-worst Nets focused more on their younger players. General manager Sean Marks said Monday the Nets felt that Scola “deserved the opportunity to contribute to a playoff contender.” Because he was waived by the March 1 deadline, Scola would be eligible to sign with another team and appear on its playoff roster.
KNICKS: New York waived veteran backup point guard Brandon Jennings and signed undrafted rookie Chasson Randle. Jennings signed a one-year, $5-million (U.S.) deal with the Knicks last summer. But like many Knicks, Jennings had been frustrated with their lack of team success. He averaged 8.6 points and a team-leading 4.9 assists in 59 games. The Noah had a left knee arthroscopy later in the day to remove a loose body. The Knicks also announced forward Joakim Noah will miss at least three weeks after arthroscoping knee surgery.
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