76ers' Joel Embiid to Undergo MRI After Suffering Shoulder Injury vs. Cavaliers

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 27, 2020

CLEVELAND, OHIO - FEBRUARY 26: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts after an injury during the first half against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on February 26, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio. 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 Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images

Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid will undergo an MRI on Thursday to determine the extent of the shoulder injury he suffered during Wednesday night's 108-94 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Sixers coach Brett Brown revealed after the game he was "unsure" if Embiid would be available to play in Thursday's game against the New York Knicks.

"It's part of the NBA landscape," Brown said, per John Clark of NBC Sports Philadelphia. "It's good for the other guys. We gotta find ways to move this program forward and improve. Keeping the boys in the boat. And landing the plane [playoffs]. Keeping the spirit."

Per Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice.com, Embiid suffered a left shoulder sprain while battling for positioning with Cleveland center Ante Zizic in the paint in the final minute of the first quarter. Embiid drew a foul on the play and remained in the game to take the free throws, missing both. 

He had three points and one block in eight minutes against the Cavs before exiting.

Injuries remain an issue for the center, who has missed time this year because of a sprained ankle, knee soreness, a torn ligament in his hand and neck stiffness.

Embiid hasn't played 70 games in any season since being drafted in 2014. He missed his first two years with foot injuries, while various ailments have continued to sideline him, including a torn meniscus that severely limited him down the stretch in 2018-19.

The 25-year-old remains an elite player when healthy, though. He entered Tuesday's game averaging 23.8 points, 12.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks, which helped him earn his third straight All-Star selection.

He was even more dominant in 2018-19 when he averaged 27.5 points and 13.6 rebounds.

When he's at his best, the 76ers have enough talent to compete with anyone in the NBA. However, being without both Embiid and All-Star guard Ben Simmons could cause the Sixers to plummet down the Eastern Conference standings.

Al Horford and Tobias Harris should see increased responsibilities in the frontcourt with Embiid unavailable, but Philadelphia will sorely miss its top players.

Embiid's injury is just the latest setback for Philadelphia. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported Tuesday that the Sixers expect Simmons to be sidelined for "an extended period of time" due to a nerve impingement in his lower back.