NBA To Look At Sixers For Possible Injury Reporting Violation

The NBA is expected to take a look at the Sixers to determine whether they violated the league’s injury reporting rules with their handling of Joel Embiid leading up to Tuesday’s game vs. Oklahoma City, TNT reporter Jared Greenberg said prior to last night’s game (Twitter video link).

As Greenberg notes, after reports on Monday suggested that Embiid had a chance to return vs. the Thunder following a two-month injury absence, he was officially listed as out for the game, then didn’t attend the team’s shootaround on Tuesday. He was upgraded to questionable after 5:30 pm Eastern on Tuesday and was ultimately determined to be available in a game-time decision.

“I’ve spoken to multiple people inside the NBA league office and we should expect some sort of investigation into how the Sixers handled the injury report, going from out, out, out to questionable to playing in this short span of time,” Greenberg said. “The league office will certainly take note of that.”

The Sixers were fined by the NBA’s league office on February 1 for a previous episode involving Embiid and the injury report. In that instance, the reigning MVP wasn’t listed on the injury report at all for a January 27 game in Denver until he was ruled out just hours before tip-off.

The NBA fined the franchise $75K for that violation, stating in its announcement that the penalty “takes into account Philadelphia’s prior history of fines for violating injury reporting rules.” That’s likely to be the case again this time around if the league determines the team didn’t follow the required steps.

The 76ers likely won’t be too concerned about whatever fine they may receive for an injury reporting violation, given how well Embiid’s return went. Although the star center wasn’t at the top of his game and – as Tim Bontemps and Kevin Pelton of ESPN note – appeared “visibly exhausted” at times during nearly 30 minutes of action, he scored 24 points and helped the club secure an important victory over the Thunder.

Embiid appeared to get through the game without any setbacks and told reporters that he hopes to suit up again on Thursday, in what will be a big game at Miami. The Sixers (41-35) currently trail the Heat (42-33) by 1.5 games for the No. 7 seed in the East, with the Pacers (43-33) a half-game ahead of Miami for the No. 6 spot. A loss on Thursday would make a top-six finish an extreme long shot for Philadelphia, likely relegating the team to the play-in tournament.

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