One of the major worries about the NBA restart was the increased risk of soft-tissue injuries, as players went from not being able to do their normal physical activity while quarantining, to quickly ramping back up to the rigors of NBA competition. The Sixers appeared to be a victim of this set of circumstances after star center Joel Embiid sat out yesterday’s scrimmage against the Oklahoma City Thunder with right calf discomfort.
Embiid’s calf had begun bothering him during Friday’s scrimmage against Memphis. He sat out the entire second half, which fans assumed at the time was strictly for load management reasons. Of course, any Sixers fan is no stranger to hearing Joel Embiid and injury in the same sentence, and the immediate reflex upon hearing about the calf was to climb into a well of despair as the dreams of a Zoom championship parade vanished into the ether.
However, the news may not be as dire as feared, as Embiid will be participating in a “light” practice today, as will Glenn Robinson III and Raul Neto.
Joel Embiid (right calf tightness) Glenn Robinson III (left hip pointer) & Raul Neto (lower back tightness) are all expected to participate in today's practice (although practice will be light).— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) July 27, 2020
An update on each of their status' will come tomorrow. #Sixers
Robinson III suffered the hip pointer yesterday against the Thunder, while Neto was a late scratch for that contest after feeling back discomfort in warm-ups. While it’s obviously good news that both bench players feel up to practicing, the headline here is Embiid’s status. As dominant as Ben Simmons has looked in the first two scrimmages, the Sixers are going to need a healthy Joel Embiid if they are to make noise in the Bubble Playoffs. While I would deem it extremely unlikely JoJo plays in the team’s final scrimmage against Dallas, just the fact that he’ll be out on the court today is highly encouraging.
Overall, this is good news, which Philadelphia fans could certainly use with the specter of the Marlins’ COVID-19 outbreak happening in the city today. Fingers crossed for continued good health for Joel Embiid and his lower legs.