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76ers' Joel Embiid Out vs. Pistons with Sprained Ankle Injury; Return Unknown

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistOctober 26, 2019

TORONTO, ON - MAY 12:  Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on as Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Toronto Raptors celebrates with teammates after sinking a buzzer beater to win Game Seven of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Scotiabank Arena on May 12, 2019 in Toronto, Canada.  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 Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid will be out Saturday night against the Detroit Pistons because of a sprained right ankle, according to NBA.com.

The skilled center suffered the injury during Wednesday's season-opening win over the Boston Celtics.

Embiid has been plagued by injuries since he was drafted third overall in 2014. The 7-footer missed the first two seasons of his career because of foot issues, and a knee injury limited him to 31 games in his first season on the court in 2016-17. He also missed time in 2017-18 after suffering an orbital fracture late in the year.

While he averaged 63.5 games over the past two years, the 25-year-old has yet to appear in more than 64 games during a regular season. That's a mark he reached last season despite being hampered by back and knee issues, and the lingering knee injury caused him to miss a postseason game as well.

Philadelphia has no shortage of experience playing without Embiid, but that doesn't make replacing him any easier. He established career highs in both scoring (27.5 ppg) and rebounding (13.6 rpg) last season while earning his second consecutive All-Star selection.

With Ben Simmons, Al Horford and Tobias Harris, the Sixers still have plenty of talent to compete in the Eastern Conference even if Embiid spends some time on the shelf this season. In the meantime, head coach Brett Brown will likely use some combination of Horford and Kyle O'Quinn to hold down the 5-spot.

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