Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers tested positive for COVID-19 and will sit out the next 10 days due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols.

Joel Embiid COVID test positive Injury Philadelphia 76ers
Joel Embiid, the Philadelphia 76ers’ center, unleashed one of his best performances of the season against the Chicago Bulls on Saturday. (Image: Getty)

Embiid wasn’t scheduled to play in tonight’s game against the New York Knicks. With the 76ers facing back-to-back games on Monday and Tuesday, the team decided to rest Embiid against the Knicks so he could be fresh against the Milwaukee Bucks and Giannis “Greek Freak” Antetokounmpo. After Embiid tested positive and entered COVID protocols, he will miss both games, and three more for the 76ers until he’s eligible to return in 10 days.

The 76ers have a three-game homestand this week against the Knicks, Bucks, and Toronto Raptors. On Saturday, the 76ers head out West on a six-game road trip spread out over 11 days. Embiid should return from the COVID protocol in the middle of that trip.

Embiid averages 21.4 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game this season. His PER rating of 24,68 is ranked #11 overall. It’s been a slow start for Embiid; through nine games, he’s posting his lowest career numbers since his rookie season in 2016-17. Embiid led the 76ers in scoring only three times this season, but it’s been a more balanced scoring attack for the offense this season. He looked like his old self with 30 points and 15 rebounds in a victory over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday.

The 76ers (8-2) and the Golden State Warriors (8-1) are the only two teams in the NBA with eight wins. After a 2-2 start, the 76ers won six games in a row.

The 76ers currently occupy the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference without the assistance of the disgruntled Ben Simmons, who probably will never play in another game for the team. The 76ers have yet to find a trade partner for Simmons, who finally and unexpectedly showed up for work, but then got tossed from practice by Doc Rivers for phoning it in. After a post-suspension sit-down with the team and management before the season began, Simmons said he’s not mentally ready to return to the 76ers. Since then, the team fined him for blowing off meetings with their medical staff and not keeping the team physicians up to date on his mental health.