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October 25, 2019

Joel Embiid has right ankle sprain, is questionable for Sixers' first road trip

5_Joel_Embiid__Sixers_76ers_KateFrese.jpg Kate Frese/for PhillyVoice

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid.

After alerting Philadelphia's training staff to some discomfort following Wednesday night's win over the Celtics, the Sixers diagnosed Joel Embiid with a right ankle sprain, leaving him questionable for Saturday night's game vs. the Detroit Pistons.

Embiid did not participate in Friday's practice in Camden prior to the team leaving for Detroit, and he received treatment on both Thursday and Friday for the issue. The team did not pinpoint a particular sequence or play that led to the issue. 

Wednesday was a painful night at the office for Embiid, who took a shot to the face from Jaylen Brown while trying to defend the Celtics wing at the rim. Embiid received sutures on his lip that night for the laceration on his lip, and he had what team spokesman Dave Sholler referred to as "a minor dental procedure" as a result of the collision.

Embiid's status for Saturday night, Sholler said, is not at all related to the dental procedure/shot from Brown and is strictly tied to the state of his ankle. Embiid's availability for Saturday's game will be determined based on how he feels following their shootaround in the morning.

While there are no alarm bells being set off in Philadelphia on the severity of the injury, the Sixers are staring down what could be their first test of how good they can be without Embiid in the lineup. Sixers wing Tobias Harris told reporters on Friday that Embiid may be a pivotal part of what they do, but his potential absence can't be used as an excuse.

"We want those guys to get healthy, but if they're unable to go and we're shorthanded, we'll get added resources from our bench and from other guys to be able to step up and have an opportunity," Harris said. "We got so much talent, we just got to fill somebody in and let's roll with it."

There's no word yet on who will step into the starting lineup to fill in for Embiid should he miss Saturday's game, but some Sixers players believe they can be tougher to guard in sleeker, smaller lineups.

"It's a smaller lineup, it's just like anything if we had a smaller guy than Jo last season," Ben Simmons said. "We're able to push the ball a little bit more, guys are popping a little bit more, so it's a harder matchup for other teams. But we're still a big team." 

In news related to Embiid's potential availability, Sixers two-way player Norvel Pelle will travel with the team for their weekend road trip that has stops in Detroit and Atlanta.

In other Sixers injury news, Mike Scott will also be listed as questionable for Saturday's game against the Pistons due to a left ankle sprain, though unlike Embiid he had some involvement on Friday, going through a set of individualized drills during practice. Scott made Philadelphia aware of some discomfort in his left ankle during the Celtics game and was re-taped by Sixers trainers in the locker room.

We'll ultimately find out his status tomorrow night, but all indications suggest Scott will probably attempt to give it a go against Detroit.

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