76ers' Joel Embiid Ruled out vs. Blazers After Suffering Ankle Injury

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 9, 2020

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid plays during an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid was ruled out for the remainder of Sunday's game against the Portland Trail Blazers with a left ankle injury, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, after leaving the contest in the first quarter.ย 

The 26-year-old was limited to 44 appearances prior to the NBA suspending the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.ย He continued to be effective when he played, though, averaging 23.4 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks.

Health has long been the biggest question mark around Embiid, who didn't debut until his third season in the league. Most recently, he tore a ligament in his left hand in January and picked up a minor shoulder injury one month later.

As the Sixers were preparing for the NBA's restart, the former Kansas Jayhawks star experienced right calf tightness that forced him to miss a scrimmage against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Al Horford experiment has been a disappointment so far, with the five-time All-Star failing to provide the scoring punch and floor spacing Philadelphia expected when it signed him.

The Sixers have already qualified for the playoffs, but having Embiid on the court is imperative to their championship hopes, especially with Ben Simmons already out injured. Otherwise, what is already a top-heavy team becomes even more reliant on players like Horford and Tobias Harris.