Just when you thought the gut punches were over, the Sixers found a new way to make you feel bad on a Friday evening. Robert Covington is out for the rest of the season after an MRI revealed a slight tear in his lateral meniscus.
The team also announced that Jahlil Okafor’s knee soreness will keep him out for the rest of the season, putting an official end to what has been a confusing, frustrating season for the young center.
As our Jake Pavorsky noted on Twitter, Covington first missed a game due to right knee soreness back on March 12th:
Robert Covington first sat out with a knee injury on 3/12. He played 8 games after that, and a total of 261 minutes. Now diagnosed with tear— Jake Pavorsky (@JakePavorsky) March 31, 2017
Combing through the game logs, Covington’s minutes did not dip following his one-game absence in mid-March. He played a staggering 44 minutes in an overtime loss to the Orlando Magic on March 20th, pushing an important player to the brink for an inconsequential game down the stretch.
This is not the first case where the 76ers — who generally claim to take the cautious approach when it comes to the health and safety of their players — come out looking a little cavalier with a player who had an issue earlier in the month. It’s too early to tell if Covington’s knee got worse over the last few weeks or if this is a completely unrelated injury, but the optics continue to reflect poorly on the franchise.
We have reached out to the Sixers for comment on this developing story.
UPDATE: The Sixers provided the following details via Director of Public relations, Michael Preston:
Rob was held out of the second game of the back-to-back against the Lakers earlier this month as a precaution due to soreness on the medial side of his knee, completely unrelated to the symptoms and location of the current injury (the slight tear of his lateral meniscus).