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NBA to Investigate Joel Embiid Injury Management 2 Months After $75,000 Fine on 76ers

Published 04/02/2024, 8:16 PM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

Joel Embiid is back. After missing 29 straight games because of a knee injury, the Philadelphia 76ers superstar was announced as available for tonight’s game against the OKC Thunder. While it is incredible news for the Sixers, the way they announced Embiid’s highly anticipated return has caused the NBA to intervene. There was a lot of ambiguity about Joel Embiid’s availability ahead of the game. That’s when everything took a turn.

The reigning MVP was listed out for tonight’s matchup all day until 5:49 PM ET. But the Sixers upgraded Embiid’s status to available just over an hour later. Because of the delay in upgrading Embiid’s status, the NBA is reportedly expected to investigate how the Sixers handled his injury reporting. That might put the Sixers in deep water again, as they were penalized with a $75,000 fine for a similar issue two months ago.

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The Sixers were fined $75,000 in January after they failed to include Embiid in the injury report in a timely manner for the clash against the Denver Nuggets. Embiid got ruled out of the highly anticipated clash against 2-time MVP Nikola Jokic minutes before tip-off. That led the league to question the credibility of Embiid’s injury as he was available on the court before the game started. Upon review by the league, it was concluded that the Sixers did not violate the player participation policy, as Embiid had a confirmed knee injury.

But the late decision did disappoint the Nuggets fans who expected Embiid to play in Denver after nearly 5 years. Fans in the arena even started chanting, “Where’s Embiid at?” after he got ruled out abruptly.

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Philly’s history of violating injury management policies might play a huge role in the league’s investigation of Embiid’s delayed upgrade tonight. And they might be looking at another hefty fine.

Can Joel Embiid get back to the MVP form before the playoffs?

Although Joel Embiid’s highly anticipated return came under controversial circumstances, Philly fans would be happy that their superstar is back after over two months. With just 6 games remaining in the regular season after tonight’s Thunder clash, Embiid does not have much time to get back in form before the playoffs start. He showed signs of rust early in tonight’s game. Although Embiid scored 12 points in the first half, he struggled from the floor. The reigning MVP went 4 of 9 from the field and missed all three of his three-point attempts in the first period.

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Embiid’s rusty performance caused the Sixers to trail by 10 points heading into the second half. The Sixers have fallen to the 8th spot in the Eastern Conference standings and will probably have to participate in the play-in tournament to qualify for the playoffs. They need Joel Embiid to regain his MVP form before those crucial games begin. It has been over 4 decades since the Sixers last lifted the Larry O’Brien trophy. And after years of ‘trusting the process’, they hope Joel Embiid can finally bring a worthy Championship to Philadelphia this season.

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Written by:

Rohan Bhaunt

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Rohan Singh Bhaunt, an NBA Writer at EssentiallySports, boasts a background as a divisional basketball player and an NBA enthusiast spanning over a decade. His extensive knowledge of the sport enables him to intricately explore its nuances, presenting a fresh outlook. Rohan's dive into the NBA newsdesk at ES commenced with witnessing LeBron James secure his inaugural championship in Miami.
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Edited by:

Daniel D'Cruz