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Joel Embiid shakes off injury early Thursday vs. Trail Blazers [UPDATE]

Sixers center was forced to leave in the first half Thursday against the Portland Trail Blazers. He returned in the second quarter.

Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers posts up against Cody Zeller of the Charlotte Hornets during the second quarter of their game against the Charlotte Hornets at Spectrum Center on February 03, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Philadelphia 76ers C Joel Embiid was forced to go to the locker room in the first half of Thursday’s game vs. the Portland Trail Blazers after suffering an apparent knee injury. Embiid appeared to sustain the injury following a block, in which he came up hobbling and favoring his right knee. The All-Star only played 6 minutes, scoring 4 points.

Update: Embiid has checked back into the game. It also looks like Embiid is fine. He’s up to 14 points in 12 minutes late in the second quarter.

It’s good news Embiid is back on the bench. That doesn’t mean he’s OK and will come back into the game. The Sixers are already without Ben Simmons on Thursday night due to calf tightness. If the team were to lose Embiid because he re-entered this game with a knee injury, things would not go over well. For now, we can assume that the injury to Embiid can’t be that serious, otherwise he wouldn’t have come back out. Still, the Sixers should proceed with caution.

The Sixers were heavy favorites against a very shorthanded Blazers squad missing Damian Lillard. Right now, Portland is keeping it close after the first quarter. If Embiid can’t return, this game could end up being even most of the way. Dwight Howard would need to play most of the minutes at center with Tony Bradley likely to get into the game.