"Nothing Is Going to Stop Me": Joel Embiid to Hold Off on Thumb Surgery Until Offseason


It appears 76ers star and MVP candidate Joel Embiid's will have to play through pain for the remainder of the postseason, ESPN's Adrian Wojnorowski reported today. After an MRI revealed that a torn ligament in his right thumb will require surgery, head coach Doc Rivers announced that their franchise center plans to play through the injury and hold off on surgery until the offseason.

The injury occurred during Game 3 of the 76ers first-round playoff matchup against the Toronto Raptors. Embiid was visibly laboring and grabbing at his right hand throughout the second half of the game, but it didn't stop him from sinking the game-winning shot in overtime to give Philadelphia a commanding 3-0 lead. He suited up for Game 4 with the thumb wrapped in medical tape, and although he still managed 21 points and 8 rebounds, it was clearly his worst game of the series, shooting just 7-16 with 5 turnovers en route to Toronto's first win. 

Embiid addressed playing through the injury following the game, stating it was more bothersome when it came to rebounding, passing and shooting free throws, but was determined to continue battling it. "It's the playoffs. Nothing is going to stop me. So I just got to keep going, and hope for the best."

Game 5 should provide a better understanding of how the injury is impacting Embiid. Despite the hardly underwhelming performance in Game 4, it was only a matter of time until Nick Nurse and the Raptors manufactured a way to stop the big man, for at least one game. If there is more regression during his next outing, there may be further cause for concern.

Photo Credit: © Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports