76ers' Joel Embiid Ruled out vs. Raptors After Suffering Hand Injury

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 13, 2020

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid looks on from the bench after being injured earlier in an NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP)
Kevin C. Cox/Associated Press

Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid reportedly will not return to Wednesday's game against the Toronto Raptors after suffering a hand injury.

Serena Winters of NBC Sports Philadelphia reported the news, noting Embiid was hit on the right hand in the first half. Fortunately for the 76ers, X-rays were negative, and he was already slated to play limited minutes in the game.

This is far from the first setback for Embiid, who has dealt with injuries throughout his career. He already missed time during the seeding games at Walt Disney World Resort because of an ankle injury and has never played more than 64 games in a season since Philadelphia selected him with the No. 3 pick in 2014.

In fact, he missed the first two seasons of his career and played just 31 games in 2016-17.

Any long-term injury to Embiid is even more troublesome for the 76ers because Ben Simmons is already expected to be out for the season with a knee injury. Embiid and Simmons are their two biggest stars, and the combination playing well is their best chance to win a championship in the coming years.

Embiid is a go-to option offensively and someone who anchors Philadelphia's interior defense and rebounding efforts.

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He is averaging 23.5 points, 11.8 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game this season.

While the 76ers can't realistically expect the frontcourt to replicate Embiid's numbers if he is sidelined for extended time, they can turn to the combination of Al Horford, Mike Scott and Norvel Pelle.