76ers center Joel Embiid will have knee evaluated, won't play vs. Jazz on Thursday

Joel Embiid will not join the Philadelphia 76ers when they play the Utah Jazz on Thursday, ESPN reported.

Instead, the reigning MVP is expected to head back to Philadelphia to have his left knee evaluated after it was injured in the fourth quarter of Tuesday's 119-107 loss to the Golden State Warriors.

Embiid was in pursuit of a loose ball with 4:04 remaining, when he and Warriors forward Draymond Green hit the deck. After several moments of clutching his knee on the court, Embiid eventually limped back to the locker room and did not return.

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) lays on the court in obvious pain after falling pursuing a loose ball against the Golden State Warriors during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2024, in San Francisco. Embiid left the game and did not return. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid is returning to Philadelphia to have his knee examined after it was injured on Tuesday versus the Golden State Warriors. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

In the month of January, Embiid missed a total of five games due to continuous issues with his left knee. At the beginning of the month, he was out three contests due to swelling. And Embiid did not play in the two games leading up to the Golden State game thanks to soreness in the knee.

For Embiid to qualify for the NBA's postseason awards, he can only miss five more contests. The league recently created a 65-game minimum for players hoping to be eligible for its All-NBA and MVP honors.

As a result, ESPN's Ramona Shelburne was told that the 76ers will now carefully manage Embiid's rest days and absences.

On Thursday, the NBA added more insult to injury as it announced Philadelphia is being fined $75,000 for failing to report Embiid would not play on Jan. 27 in a more timely fashion.

A little more than a week before this latest setback, Embiid reset the 76ers' franchise record for points in a game on Jan. 22 by dropping 70 on the San Antonio Spurs.

When Embiid has played healthy, he's been on another level, leading the NBA in average points (35.3), while adding 11.3 rebounds and 5.7 assists.