Joel Embiid Won't Play vs. Trae Young, Hawks Because of Ankle Injury

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 11, 2019

MILWAUKEE, WI - OCTOBER 24:  Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers handles the ball during a game against the Milwaukee Bucks at the Fiserv Forum on October 24, 2018 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 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.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid will not play Friday night against the Atlanta Hawks because of an ankle injury, according to Rich Hoffman of The Athletic. 

Serena Winters of NBC Sports Philadelphia reported earlier on Friday Embiid was questionable with soreness in his left ankle.

Embiid is one of the NBA's most important players when healthy. The third overall pick in the 2014 draft averaged 22.9 points, 11 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.8 blocks en route to his first All-Star Game selection during the 2017-18 season, and he's continued to shine so far during the current campaign.

Injuries have prevented the 24-year-old Cameroon native from maximizing his impact, though. He missed his first two years in the league because of foot injuries and was limited to 31 appearances during his 2016-17 rookie season. He played 63 games last year.

An ankle injury suffered in a late-October practice was his first setback this season.

If Embiid remains sidelined with the latest ailment, the Sixers will likely use a committee of players in an effort to fill the void. Mike Muscala, Amir Johnson and Jonah Bolden should all see a jump in playing time as part of the frontcourt rotation.

Ultimately, Philly is always going to play it safe with its superstar center in the hope of avoiding more long-term setbacks. The team's depth options won't come anywhere close to his productivity, however, so it's going to take a team effort to win without him.

Zach Lowe was the guest on the latest edition of The Full 48 podcast and spoke about Embiid, the 76ers and much more. To hear the 76ers discussion, jump to 35:56.

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