BOSTON (CBS) — Joel Embiid’s finger bent in a way that a finger should not bend on Monday. That may keep him out of Thursday night’s meeting with the Boston Celtics.
Embiid suffered a grotesque finger dislocation in the first quarter of Monday night’s 76ers win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, one that is not for the faint of heart. If you think you can stomach someone’s finger looking like it’s trying to escape from their hand, you can see the aftermath here.
Despite that nasty scene, Embiid had the finger popped back into place and taped up, and he was back on the floor for the start of the second quarter. He logged 33 minutes in the victory, scoring 18 points off 7-for-17 shooting to go with nine rebounds and a season-high eight assists. Pretty impressive, considering Embiid admitted after the game that he was essentially playing with one hand.
X-rays on the hand did not show any breaks, but that doesn’t mean Embiid is in the clear. Both he and head coach Brett Brown said after the game that they don’t know his status going forward, meaning the big man may not suit up for Thursday night’s big 76ers-Celtics clash in Philly.
That would be a huge loss for Philly — and a big break for Boston — as Embiid has absolutely dominated the Celtics in their two matchups this season. The big man averaged 26.5 points, 13 rebounds and 4.5 assists in Philadelphia’s two wins over Boston, highlighted by a 38-point, 13-rebound explosion in a 115-109 win in Boston last month.
It’s always disappointing when the Celtics take on a team that isn’t at full strength, but given the Celtics’ battles with injuries and illnesses over the last month, they could use this kind of break.