Philadelphia 76ers star center Joel Embiid will sit out Monday night’s road game against the Portland Trail Blazers, his second straight absence due to left knee soreness.
This time, Embiid was listed as questionable on the team’s injury report before being ruled out Monday afternoon.
Embiid also missed Saturday’s road game against the Denver Nuggets, a game in which he was never listed on the injury report and was scratched approximately 20 minutes before tipoff.
That absence drew the ire of Nuggets coach Michael Malone, who called on the NBA to investigate the situation. It also marked the fourth straight trip to Denver in which Embiid didn’t play in the game.
Published reports indicate the league plans to investigate the team’s handling of the Embiid situation.
Sixers coach Nick Nurse said after Saturday’s game that Embiid wanted to play in the game but trainers didn’t like the way the seven-time All-Star looked during pregame warmups.
The late scratch prevented Embiid, the reigning NBA MVP, from playing against Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets’ two-time MVP. Embiid last played against Jokic in Denver on Nov. 8, 2019.
Embiid apparently aggravated the knee during Thursday’s 134-122 road loss against the Indiana Pacers.
Embiid, who scored a career-best 70 points seven days ago against the San Antonio Spurs, leads the NBA with a 36.0 scoring average.
The two absences mean Embiid will have played in just 33 of Philadelphia’s 45 games through the conclusion of play on Monday night. He must play in at least 65 games to be eligible for postseason NBA awards.