PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — You could say Sixers fans are squirming a bit after back-to-back losses to the Toronto Raptors after leading the series 3-0. Sixers All-Star MVP candidate Joel Embiid is playing with a torn ligament in his right thumb.
It is reported that Embiid will undergo surgery to repair the injury, but not before the end of the Sixers’ season.
READ MORE: Driver hits woman on sidewalk before crashing into porch of West Philadelphia home
Director of Sports Medicine for Jefferson 3B Othropedics, Dr. Arthur Bartolozzi, joined Eyewitness News this morning to discuss Embiid’s injury.
Q: Could you tell us a bit about the injury?
Dr. Bartolozzi: It’s a common injury, especially in sports like basketball, baseball where you fall on your outstretched hand. In basketball it is common to injure your finger because your hand is stuck on the rim or blocked by another player or in Joel Embiid’s situation he falls on the hardwood a lot. So common injury.
READ MORE: Philadelphia youth soccer coach shoots fellow coach in bleachers at soccer field near Temple University, police say
Q: He promised to play through the pain, but how hard is it for a basketball player who obviously uses his hands throughout the game?
Dr. Bartolozzi: These injuries can be very painful. Also, each time you shoot the ball, you are holding the ball in your thumb. This ends up being a very important part of balancing the ball. So if the thumb is sore, or tightly attached, or someone is forcing it, it can be hard to feel comfortable on the basketball. I have a little prop to show you the nature of the injury. *Brings a hand prop into the video* So if it’s a hand, it’s my hand here. It’s the thumb. When you fall on your outstretched hand, you can easily sprain this ligament. If you see that red, it’s very easy to fall and tear that ligament like that. It’s a common injury, in fact, it’s often called skier’s thumb, the ski pole gets stuck around the thumb and pulls it back.
Q: Embiid says he is dedicated to continuing to play for the rest of the season, could he potentially aggravate his injury while playing?
Dr. Bartolozzi: Probably, it’s a tough game, so always a chance to get injured again. He can play with it, he has a detention on it and at the end of the season if necessary, it can be fixed. If repaired during the season, it takes at least three to six weeks in this range to start playing again, then with a stiff, sore finger. So there is no benefit in fixing it now, easy to fix later if needed.
NO MORE NEWS: WATCH LIVE: Camden officials inaugurate $2.3 million state-funded improvement project
WATCH THE INTERVIEW IN THE VIDEO ABOVE.