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76ers' Joel Embiid Says Back Injury Caused by LeBron James' Hard Foul

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IFebruary 18, 2021

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid plays during an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid provided some insight Wednesday into the back injury that has been bothering him this season. 

According to Chris W. Crouse of FortyEightMinutes.com, Embiid said his back issues began last month when Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James committed a flagrant foul on him.

While the injury has nagged Embiid since then, he called it "not alarming."

When addressing the media after James' hard foul last month, Embiid took issue with LeBron, calling it a "dangerous play."

The 26-year-old Embiid has struggled with back issues this season, marking another year that has been plagued by injuries. He has never played more than 64 games since joining the team as the No. 3 pick in the 2014 NBA draft. 

But while his durability is a concern, Embiid is when one of the best in the game when he's at full health. 

In 2021, he's averaging 29.7 points, 10.8 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and 1.3 steals in 23 games. The three-time All-Star and two-time All-NBA selection is incredibly versatile, and that has led to much of the Sixers' success this season.

At 19-10, the Sixers own the best record in the Eastern Conference, holding a 1.5-game lead over the second-place Brooklyn Nets

If Embiid is forced to miss additional time this season because of his back, Dwight Howard and Tony Bradley would be in line to see more time at center, and it would be up to Tobias Harris and Ben Simmons to command the scoring in his absence. 

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