Report: 76ers fear Joel Embiid has torn thumb ligament

·3-min read

Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid sustained a thumb injury that has prompted fears of a ligament tear, The Athletic's Shams Charania reports.

Charania's report landed shortly after ESPN's Ramona Shelburne reported that Embiid is experiencing "pain and discomfort" in the injured thumb that may require an MRI. He plans to play in Game 4 against the Toronto Raptors, per the report.

It wasn't immediately clear when Embiid sustained the injury. Images from Wednesday's Game 3 win over the Toronto Raptors show Embiid wearing a restraint on his right thumb after halftime that he wasn't wearing in the first half. Embiid practiced on Friday while wearing a wrap on his thumb, and head coach Doc Rivers told reporters that Embiid is "good."

"He's good," Rivers said. "We did a lot of stuff ... We just don't want anybody to hit his arm, his hand and all that. But he was fine."

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 20: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers holds his thumb in the second half of Game Three of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena on April 20, 2022 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
Joel Embiid holds his thumb in the second half of Game Three of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Toronto Raptors. (Cole Burston/Getty Images)

If he did sustain the injury during Wednesday's game, it didn't appear to hamper his play. The MVP finalist finished with 33 points and 13 rebounds while shooting 12 of 20 from the field in the 104-101 overtime win. He also hit the game-winning 3-pointer in the final second of overtime that secured a 3-0 series lead for the 76ers.

In three playoff games, Embiid has lived up to the status that made him an MVP finalist, averaging 27.7 points and 13 rebounds against the Raptors. An injury of any significance for Embiid is obviously a concern for the 76ers. If they close out the Raptors, they face a likely second-round matchup against the top-seeded Miami Heat, who opened up a 2-0 lead in their first-round series over the Atlanta Hawks. Game 4 against the Raptors is scheduled for Saturday.

Embiid's injury scare isn't the first in these NBA playoffs. Phoenix Suns All-Star Devin Booker is expected to miss 2-3 weeks with a hamstring strain sustained in a Game 2 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. Milwaukee Bucks All-Star Khris Middleton, meanwhile, is out indefinitely with an MCL sprain sustained in a Game 2 loss to the Chicago Bulls.

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