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REPORT: Joel Embiid (shoulder) out approximately one week

Joel Embiid, Sixers

With All-Star Ben Simmons already out indefinitely due to back issues, the Philadelphia 76ers once again got struck by the injury bug as Joel Embiid will reportedly miss a week due to a shoulder sprain.

The development was confirmed by Sixers beat reporter Noah Levick on Thursday.

The injury occurred early in the first quarter of the Sixers’ road game against the Cleveland Cavaliers at the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Wednesday. Embiid played in eight minutes and had three points before leaving the game.

Joel Embiid’s setback will certainly hinder the Sixers’ plans to get into the top 4 of the Eastern Conference Standings. The Brett Brown-mentored team, however, still dodged a bullet as the seven-foot Cameroonian reportedly did not suffer any structural damage.

The injury could not have come at a worse time for Philly, as the 25-year-old center has been in peak form since returning from the All-Star break.

He notched a career-best 49 points to go along with 14 rebounds against the Atlanta Hawks earlier this week. In 43 games played this season, JoJo has been norming 23.3 points, 11.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.3 blocks, while knocking down 47.2 percent of his field goals and 34.2 percent of his threes.

The Sixers (37-23) have won six of their last 10 games and are now just two games behind the Miami Heat (36-22) for fourth place in the much-improved Eastern Conference.

Without Embiid to man the paint on Thursday, the Sixers still escaped with a 115-106 win over the lowly New York Knicks at the Wells Fargo Arena.

The Sixers will figure in a tough Western Conference road trip next week, beginning with matches against the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center.

Fingers crossed that Embiid can return as soon as possible for the Sixers.