Dark day in Philadelphia: Sixers’ Joel Embiid beats James Harden after playoff loss; Phillies’ Bryce Harper faces possible surgery

Dark day in Philadelphia: Sixers’ Joel Embiid beats James Harden after playoff loss;  Phillies’ Bryce Harper faces possible surgery

Thursday was a day to forget for sports fans in Philadelphia.

The first stomach blow came when Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper was diagnosed with a partially torn ligament in his right elbow.

The reigning National League MVP will not be allowed to pitch for four weeks, but he can still remain in the DH roster.

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Harper will receive a platelet-rich plasma injection on Sunday and will not play that day, manager Joe Girardi said ahead of Thursday night’s game at Dodger Stadium.

The small tear in Harper’s ulnar collateral ligament was discovered earlier in the day during a visit to Dr. Neal ElAttrache spotted in Los Angeles.

“What we saw today probably confirmed a new small crack,” Girardi said. “Harp is not thrown for four weeks. He will have a PRP injection on Sunday and then we will continue.”

The 29-year-old star has spent most of his time at DH this year due to his elbow problems. Of his 31 games, he has played in his usual right field spot just eight times.

A silver lining came later Thursday when Harper managed to play and hit his seventh home run to help the Phillies beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-7.

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And then there’s the Sixers, whose season ended in Game 6 of their second-round playoff series with a 99-90 loss to the Miami Heat.

After the game, NBA MVP finalist Joel Embiid showed up to throw teammate James Harden under the bus. Via ESPN:

“Ever since we got him, everyone’s been expecting the Houston James Harden,” Embiid said. “But he’s not anymore. He’s more of a playmaker. Sometimes I thought he could have been more aggressive, as we all could have.”

Harden was small on Thursday, scoring just 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting, all of which came in the first half. But Embiid, who led the Sixers with 20 points and 12 rebounds, also pointed the finger at himself and everyone else on the team.

“Everyone has to get better,” Embiid said. “It’s not just not just about me or [Harden]. From 1 to 15, there’s a reason we lost to Miami. That means we weren’t all good enough. So everyone just has to get better.”

As for Harden, who was acquired by the Nets midseason, which sent disgruntled guard Ben Simmons to Brooklyn, he has a decision to make: accept or decline his $47 million option and sign a new deal. Regardless, Harden plans to remain in Philadelphia: “I’ll be here,” Harden said.

A glimmer of hope for Philadelphia came Thursday night with the official release of the Eagles’ 2022 regular-season schedule. At least they haven’t lost a game…yet.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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Mike Rosenstein can be reached at mrosenstein@njadvancemedia.com.

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