Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers’ All-Star Big Man, will be sidelined after undergoing surgery on his hand. It was determined that before the next game that Embiid would need surgery. Embiid has been questionable since dislocating his finger in a win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. Embiid dislocated his finger in the first quarter but opted to come back in, he finished the game with 18 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. He has since been diagnosed with a torn ligament. Embiid’s surgery is scheduled for January 10.
Moving forward the question will be how long Embiid’s surgery keep him out. There is not an official timetable as of now.
So, the 76ers will now have to turn to veteran big man Al Horford to help lead the charge in Embiid’s absence. This isn’t something new for the 76ers either. Embiid is known for being injury-prone. According to ESPN’s Stats and Information Group, Embiid has only played in 42% of games during his career.
Though, Embiid’s production on the court cannot be downplayed. Coach Brett Brown said, “You have to recalibrate a little bit and find a way to get excited to coach the team that we have. You know all of a sudden we’re different…I look at this as an opportunity.”
The 76ers will need a full team effort if they want to continue to be successful. Embiid is averaging 23 points, 12 rebounds and three assists per game this season. All of that in addition to some stellar defense and the 76ers have a big hole to fill.
The 76ers role players, namely in the post, will have to have a breakout if Embiid will be sidelined long term. If they don’t Al Horford will seriously be struggling. Coach Brown will need to address Kyle O’Quinn and get him ready to be the next man up. O’Quinn does not see the court a whole lot.
There is a situation where O’Quinn may have to start but it is unlikely. This could help ease him into the backup or even starting position if it comes to that. But, O’Quinn will likely be forced to get additional minutes so now is the time for him to step up.
If Embiid’s surgery is minor and he will be back soon than the 76ers won’t have to worry nearly as much. What matters most for this team’s success is that Embiid is healthy and ready come playoff time.