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The 76ers are sweating on Joel Embiid’s hurt thumb heading into Game 4

While it’s clear that the big man has a problem with his thumb, the team has still listed him as available.

Paul Rudder
The Philadelphia  76ers are sweating on Joel Embiid's hurt thumb ahead of Game 4 against the Toronto Raptors
Cole BurstonGetty Images

The 76ers center is as tough as they come, but can the fan’s favorite to become this season’s MVP overcome his problematic thumb?

76ers’ Joel Embidd may have torn ligaments in his thumb

According to reports on Friday, the Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid is experiencing pain and discomfort in his right thumb. Despite the apparent injury, Embiid did in fact participate in Friday’s practice session and is reportedly expected to play in Game 4 of the Sixers’ first-round series against the Toronto Raptors. Additionaly, it is understood that he may be given an MRI in the near future as the team attempts to discover the extent of the damage to his thumb. Early reports suggest that there could be torn ligaments, but the 76ers star has vowed to play through it.

The impact of Joel Embiid

To say that Embiid has be excellent in the first round would be doing him a disservice. With an average of 28 points and 13 rebounds during the series, Embiid has led the 76ers to a 3-0 lead. That means they are one win away from a clean sweep of the Raptors. As if to punctuate the point, the center ended Game 3 with winning overtime 3-pointer that dropped when there were just 0.9 seconds remaining on the clock.

Should the 76ers be worried about Joel Embiid?

With initial reports being largely positive and the 76ers having not removed him from the available roster, it would seem that there isn’t too much cause for concern. Add to that the fact that they are 3-0 up in the series and one could feel safe betting on Philly going to the next round. Even better is the idea that should the 76ers do the business in Game 4, Embiid will have time to rest before their second round date with what is likely to be the Miami Heat. Granted, the likes of James Harden and Tyrese Maxey have more than helped Embiid in offensive production, but if the 76ers are to follow through on their championship aspirations it will come down Embiid himself, which means they need him as fit as a fiddle.

Is durability Joel Embiid’s Achilles heel?

It should be said that this isn’t the first time Embiid has seen his post season threatened or derailed by an injury. Just last year he was forced to sit out a playoff game after suffering a knee injury. There was also the 2019 post season when he was severely limited in court time, again through injury. We also can’t forget that this is a player who was incredibly sidelined for the first two seasons of his career due to injury. Hexes aside, there is perhaps a case to be made for the idea that though he is likely the best player in the NBA, that’s only the case when he’s fit and healthy.


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