Jahlil Okafor Suffers Knee Injury vs. Celtics

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMarch 19, 2017

PHILADELPHIA,PA - FEBRUARY 23:  Jahlil Okafor #8 of the Philadelphia 76ers dribbles the ball against the Orlando Magic at Wells Fargo Center on February 23, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

Philadelphia 76ers center Jahlil Okafor was forced to leave Sunday's game against the Boston Celtics due to right knee soreness, the team announced

Okafor, the third overall selection in the 2015 draft, enjoyed a strong rookie campaign en route to averaging 17.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per contest in 53 games. A crowded frontcourt has caused his playing time and contributions to drop so far this season, though, as he's averaged 12.1 points and 4.9 boards in 23 minutes per game. 

His first season at the professional level came to an early end because of a knee injury. That came after he missed time at Duke after suffering an ankle injury. He's also dealt with a hamstring issue this season, so his health is starting to become a concern, especially after the latest setback.

The silver lining for the Sixers is Richaun Holmes has emerged as a legitimate option at center ever since Nerlens Noel was dealt at the trade deadline. 

Ultimately, the team's overall production shouldn't see a massive drop-off during Okafor's absence considering he's been a sieve on defense all year. With that said, head coach Brett Brown will have to tinker with his rotation since the team was already short-handed at center after Joel Embiid (knee) was ruled out for the season. 

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