It's not the first time this season that Philadelphia 76ers All-Star player Joel Embiid has missed games for various reasons, including injuries. An injury-prone player, Embiid started his career missing two seasons from 2014 to 2016. But once he got on the court, it's clear that the 25-year-old Center from Cameroon is another Dikembe Mutombo, a true center with offensive assets and a defensive specialist. However, last Monday, he suffered a gruesome finger injury in the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The injury was so severe that the word gruesome is an understatement. Embiid underwent surgery last Friday to repair a torn radial collateral ligament in the fourth metacarpal in his left hand. According to SportingNews.com, He is out of the roster indefinitely.
It will take one to two weeks before the 76ers will reevaluate the player's condition. Based on the typical timeline for this kind of injury, it may take one to two months before he can recover. The 76ers are doing reasonably well without Embiid, they are on a two-game winning streak and currently in 5th place in the Eastern Conference with a 25-14 record.
Losing Embiid for one to two months can mean he may miss 15 to 20 games, That includes the All-star weekend. Losing a majority of those 15 to 20 games can put them in 7th to 9th place by the end of the regular season. That will jeopardize their chance for a championship this season, especially if they meet the dominant Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the playoffs.
The Bucks are not entirely unbeatable. Last season, the first seed Bucks lost the Conference finals to the Toronto Raptors, who eventually took the Championship over the Golden State Warriors.
Embiid is averaging 23.4 points, 12.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.4 blocks per game this season. It will be hard for the 76ers to replace those numbers with a single player. The 76ers are already lacking in offensive options as it is, losing Embiid will put lots of pressure on young Ben Simmons and the team as a whole.