CAMDEN, N.J. — As the Philadelphia 76ers work to get Joel Embiid back on the court at some point this season, they now also have to deal with another injury to De'Anthony Melton's back.

Melton has dealt with issues in his back that have sidelined him for 21 of Philly’s last 23 games, including 18 straight. The 25-year-old guard dealt with different back issues last season, his first with the 76ers, that sidelined him for a handful of games. He has appeared in each of the Sixers' last three games but was scratched in the middle of the most recent game due to back spasms.

After the 76ers' practice on Thursday, head coach Nick Nurse said that Melton will be out and that the team doesn’t know for how long. It's a very unfortunate development for one of Philly's key rotation players and an impending free agent.

In 36 games this season, Melton is averaging a career-best 11.5 points along with 3.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.6 steals while shooting 39.1 percent from the field and 36.2 percent from deep. His ability to hit spot-up threes and defend made him a useful player as a starter and bench player.

Nurse said that young forward KJ Martin, who missed the 76ers' last two games due to a right ankle impingement, “went through about three-quarters of practice today. Still not quite clear to go all out. That could change at any time, though. He is getting a little bit better every day.” Getting Martin back will be helpful but once again losing Melton for a long stretch would greatly sting.