The MVP front-runner suffered an injury on Friday night against the Wizards. Late in the third quarter, Embiid fell to the floor grabbing his left knee, and limped to the locker room in obvious pain. Philadelphia’s big man has a history of injuries on that same left knee, so the injury initially looked like a major one. On Saturday morning, the 76ers received the news that Embiid only bruised his knee, and the injury is not too serious. Joel will likely be out 2-3 weeks with the bruising, during his best season yet. Embiid’s inability to put a healthy season together has been the one thing holding him back during his career. In a season where it seemed like he was doing just that, he suffers a minor injury that can likely be nagging throughout the season. The two to three-week absence will take a major toll on his MVP hopes, especially if Embiid misses the rest of March.
Not only are Embiid’s chances at winning an MVP weighing in the balance, but the 76ers currently hold just a one-game lead over the Brooklyn Nets for the top seed in the Eastern Conference. The Nets have won nine out of their last ten games, including a five-point win over the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night. The Milwaukee Bucks also sit just two and a half games behind the Sixers. Not only does Embiid’s injury open up the MVP race, but it also allows teams to attempt to catch Sixers in the standings. For now, the Sixers’ fate lies in the hands of Ben Simmons, who just came back from an injury on Sunday and led the Sixers to a big win against the Spurs.
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