PHILADELPHIA — Joel Embiid could once again miss some extended time with an injury.
The Philadelphia 76ers announced Thursday that the two-time All-Star center has a torn radial collateral ligament of the fourth metatarsal in his left hand. Embiid will have surgery Friday in New York and will be re-evaluated in one to two weeks.
Embiid suffered the hand injury in the first quarter of Monday’s victory over Oklahoma City. Embiid finished with 18 points, nine rebounds, and a season-high eight assists. He is averaging 23.4 points, 12.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 1.35 blocks and 31.1 minutes.
Embiid has missed an extended period with an injury every season since being the third overall pick of the 2014 draft.
Irving making progress
NEW YORK — Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving hopes he’ll be cleared to play soon after missing almost two months with a right shoulder impingement that’s kept him out since Nov. 14.
Irving, who had not practiced with contact since the injury, was able to fully participate in practice Thursday, including four-on-four and five-on-five contact drills.
Irving recently received a cortisone shot, which has speeded his recovery. Irving previously had hinted at undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery.
The Nets desperately need their star guard because a once red-hot Brooklyn team has gone ice cold. The Nets have lost seven in a row and eight of nine.
for ‘thugs’ comment
CLEVELAND —John Beilein’s first season as an NBA coach took another turbulent turn because of a comment he made during a film session.
Beilein, coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers, said he had apologized after using the word “thugs” while reviewing film with his players the previous day. ESPN.com reported that Beilein suggested during a Wednesday film session his players were no longer playing “like a bunch of thugs.” Beilein, a former coach at the University of Richmond, told ESPN he had meant to say “slugs” in reference to the team’s effort level.
The rebuilding Cavaliers made a bold move when they hired Beilein, who had never coached in the NBA and turns 67 next month. He was highly regarded at the college level for his offensive acumen and his ability to develop players.
Beilein left his job at Michigan to take over the Cavaliers before this season, but he’s off to a rocky start. Cleveland was 10-27 entering Thursday’s game, and there have been hints of dysfunction along the way.
Magic fell Wizards
ORLANDO, Fla. — Nikola Vucevic scored 29 points, and Evan Fournier added 19 as Orlando routed Washington 123-89 on Wednesday night.
Admiral Schofield came off the bench to lead the Wizards with 18 points, as did Troy Brown, who. had 16 points and 11 rebounds. No Washington starter scored in double figures.