As the injury report for tomorrow’s matinee against the Houston Rockets has dropped, Joel Embiid has been upgraded to questionable after missing the last three games with left knee inflammation.
He was a full participant in practice on Sunday, his first time practicing with the team all week. Kelly Oubre Jr., who was a late scratch last Friday against the Kings, also returned to practice.
Joel Embiid doing some post-practice 3-on-3 work: pic.twitter.com/ukRQVWmf9c— Noah Levick (@NoahLevick) January 14, 2024
The big fella returning to the lineup Monday would be a welcomed sight — not just because it’s the reigning MVP coming back to action (though that helps a lot). The Sixers might be down another center on Monday.
Whether Embiid plays or not Monday, it will certainly be a topic of conversation. Not only is that the first leg of a back-to-back, but the second leg sees the Sixers take on the Denver Nuggets, squaring up Embiid with reigning Finals MVP Nikola Jokic on national television.
Mo Bamba has been downgraded to doubtful with a fat pad impingement in his right knee. De’Anthony Melton was ruled out for lumbar spine stress response. Melton missed three games last week because of the injury. Melton dealt with a back issue all last season, but recently said the current injury is unrelated.
In addition to Melton, Robert Covington remains out with left knee inflammation. He has not suited up since a Dec. 30 loss to the Chicago Bulls. Two-way player Kenneth Lofton, Jr. is also nursing a sprained AC joint in his left shoulder. Lofton could’ve potentially joined the team from Delaware if Bamba is ruled out, but the reigning G League Rookie of the Year is officially listed as out.
For the Rockets, Tari Eason (left lower leg injury management) is the only regular rotation player on the injury report. He is out.