Philadelphia 76er fans collectively held their breath on Wednesday night when oft-injured center Joel Embiid came tumbling down in a heap after rejecting a James Harden layup.
After being drafted with the third overall pick on the 2014 NBA Draft, Embiid missed his entire rookie season due to a broken bone in his foot. It didn’t heal properly and he ended up undergoing a second surgery, forcing him to miss the entire 2015-16 season as well. An unrelated knee injury would limit him to just 31 games in 2016-17 (his only actual NBA action in three years).
So naturally, fans were terrified when this happened:
Embiid with the big fall on Harden. Ouch.
— Basketball Society (@BBallSociety_) October 26, 2017
Embiid scrambled over from the weak side to provide the defensive help, but the play ended with Embiid coming down on top of Harden and landing awkwardly on his arms and shoulders. He popped right back up, but Philly fans haven’t forgotten Embiid’s history. After the game, the Cameroon native insisted to the media that he was fine.
“Everybody gotta stop being scared. I’m not made of glass,” he said. “That’s just basketball, you gotta make some plays. Like I said, I’m not made of glass. You just gotta play.”
The Sixers are scared though. They already announced that Embiid would be on a minutes restriction before the new NBA seasons started, as they want to ease their young star back into regular playing time. They suggested he would play less then 20 minutes every game, but so far he’s been averaging about 25 minutes per game.