As if the 76ers' season were not strained enough, they now must deal with Elton Brand's right hamstring.
The power forward, signed by the Sixers for $80 million this off-season, did not travel with the team to Detroit yesterday after straining his right hamstring during Wednesday night's loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
The loss, the Sixers' fifth in six games, left them with an 8-11 record, good for last place in the Atlantic Division.
Brand will not play tonight against the Pistons, who are 11-6. The Sixers said Brand underwent an MRI exam yesterday that confirmed the injury. He is listed as day-to-day.
It is unclear exactly when Brand suffered the strain. He left the Lakers game with 4 minutes, 49 seconds remaining in the third quarter, but Sixers officials reported that the injury occurred "midway through the fourth quarter."
Brand scored three points - about 14 below his average - in the game. He was unavailable to reporters afterward.
Brand's injury overshadows what is to be a reunion between the Sixers and former guard Allen Iverson. On Nov. 3, the Denver Nuggets traded Iverson to the Pistons for point guard Chauncey Billups, forward Antonio McDyess, and center Cheikh Samb.
On Thanksgiving, Iverson stirred a little controversy when he missed the Pistons' morning practice. He was fined and did not start the next game.
Sixers guard Willie Green smiled when asked about the incident and said it was just "A.I. being A.I."
Tonight's game at the Palace of Auburn Hills will be Iverson's first against the Sixers since his return to the Eastern Conference. But for his former teammates, it is just another reunion since his December 2006 trade from the Sixers.
"I don't think he thinks about it too much anymore, either," said swingman Andre Iguodala, who played with Iverson for 21/2 seasons.
"Pretty sure there will be some hugs and laughs before the game," Green said. "But then the ball will go up, and it will be like any other game."