By Tom Ignudo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Joel Embiid will need to have surgery after the season due to a ligament tear in his right thumb, according to a new report from ESPN. The Sixers’ MVP candidate had an MRI in Philadelphia on Sunday and it confirmed what the team thought.

Embiid will play through the injury during the playoffs, as evidenced by Game 4 where the Sixers lost to the Raptors, 110-102, on Saturday. Embiid had 21 points and eight rebounds in the loss.

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Embiid told reporters after the game the injury impacted his rebounding and passing, but that he still needs to be better. He was grabbing his hand in pain several times throughout the game against the Raptors.

Embiid suffered the injury at some point during Game 3 against Toronto before he hit game-winning shot in overtime. The ligament tear is the latest injury he will have to play through during the postseason.

In 2018, Embiid fractured his orbital bone when his head collided into Markelle Fultz’s shoulder, which forced him to miss the first two games of the postseason against the Miami Heat. In the next season, Embiid was dealing with tendinitis in left knee, and he later played with through a stomach virus and flu-like symptoms against the Raptors.

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Ironically, in the NBA bubble early in the pandemic, Embiid was fully healthy but the Sixers, who were without Ben Simmons due to an injury, were swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round of the playoffs.

And then last season, Embiid suffered a small meniscus tear in his right knee against the Washington Wizards. He was forced to miss Game 5 of that series, but then played in every game against the Hawks before losing in Game 7.

Embiid is averaging 26 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game in the series against the Raptors.

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The Sixers will try to lock up the series on Monday at 8 p.m. at the Wells Fargo Center.