Philadelphia 76ers under investigation for suspicious status of Joel Embiid's injury: What we know so far

Oklahoma City Thunder v Philadelphia 76ers
Joel Embiid's late addition to the active roster could force the NBA to investigate the Philadelphia 76ers.

On Jan. 30, Golden State Warriors forward Jonathan Kuminga dove for a loose ball and landed on Joel Embiid’s left knee. The reigning MVP immediately writhed in pain after Kuminga’s 210-pound frame rolled on that said part. A few days later, the Philadelphia 76ers announced that Embiid suffered a torn meniscus and would try treatment first to avoid surgery.

Embiid was eventually asked to undergo surgery on Feb. 6 and was expected to be shelved for four weeks. Less than a month later, he was back on the court against the OKC Thunder on Mar. 2. Although Embiid’s return was imminent, many were surprised he was cleared to play versus Oklahoma.

Hours before the game, the 76ers, like every team in the NBA, submitted injury reports. Joel Embiid had been ruled out until one hour before the Thunder-76ers tip-off.

Philadelphia’s surprising move to clear “The Process” may have raised a few eyebrows in the NBA. It might be inevitable before the league would look into the circumstances:

“The NBA is expected to investigate how Sixers handled injury reporting on Embiid, per @JaredSGreenberg.
“He was listed out all day until 5:49 pm ET, then upgraded to available just over an hour later.
“Sixers were fined $75K in February for an injury report violation with Embiid.”

Back on Jan. 27, the Philadelphia 76ers also made a surprising move that eventually forced the NBA to fine them $75K. In a marquee matchup between the 76ers and Denver Nuggets, the 76ers failed to rule Embiid inactive until 15 minutes before tip-off.

Before sitting out the Nuggets game, Joel Embiid had been playing through a nagging knee problem. Despite the soreness and discomfort, he still averaged 42.0 PPG, which was why many wondered why he sat out the highly anticipated encounter with Nikola Jokic’s team.

Embiid returned to play on Jan. 30 but didn't look like his MVP self against the Golden State Warriors. The incident with Kuminga eventually ended his night and nearly his entire season.


Joel Embiid had an impressive return

Despite sitting out for nearly a month, Joel Embiid’s impact immediately showed in his return. “The Process” finished with 24 points, seven assists, six rebounds and two steals in just 29 minutes.

Embiid’s four freebies with less than a minute remaining were instrumental in Philadelphia's win. He scored a jumper to tie the game and then sank the 4.5-meter shots to grab the lead and eventually hold off Oklahoma. Without Tyrese Maxey, De’Anthony Melton and Robert Covington, the exhausted center put the team on his back and carried them to the finish line.

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Edited by Michael Macasero