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Sixers' Richaun Holmes out at least 3 weeks with fractured wrist

The third-year front-court player will be re-evaluated in approximately three weeks.

Sixers' Richaun Holmes gets fouled by Celtics' Aron Baynes (46) as he leaps over Guerschon Yabusele during the 3th quarter at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Friday, October 6, 2017. Boston beats Philadelphia 110-102. STEVEN M. FALK / Staff Photographer
Sixers' Richaun Holmes gets fouled by Celtics' Aron Baynes (46) as he leaps over Guerschon Yabusele during the 3th quarter at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Friday, October 6, 2017. Boston beats Philadelphia 110-102. STEVEN M. FALK / Staff PhotographerRead moreSteven M. Falk

The 76ers are no strangers to dealing with injuries, and it seemed to be too optimistic to expect them to make it through the preseason without being dealt another blow.

The team announced Sunday that center Richaun Holmes has been diagnosed with a non-displaced fracture in the radial bone of his left wrist.

Holmes suffered the injury at the 1:37 mark in the third quarter of Friday's 110-102 exhibition loss to the visiting Boston Celtics.

The Sixers say Holmes will be re-evaluated in approximately three weeks, leaving the team without its backup center for the beginning of the season.

"Just disappointment for him," head coach Brett Brown said in response to the news of Holmes' injury. "He's really invested time over the summer and he's come back in tremendous shape. I thought that he was playing very well."

The minutes available at the center position are, of course, contingent on how much Joel Embiid can play, and it's not clear yet what his limitations will be or what kind of minute restriction will be applied once he returns. Embiid, coming back from his March surgery for a meniscus tear in his left knee, has been a full participant in practice but will not play Monday when the Sixers visit the Celtics for their third preseason game.

Veteran Amir Johnson, who has been in tight competition with Holmes for the minutes, will see more playing time now that Holmes is out, and Brown noted that he might even try using forward Dario Saric at the five spot in certain scenarios.

But the player who is likely to benefit the most from available minutes left behind by Holmes is Jahlil Okafor.

"Jahlil might reap the benefits of some open space," Brown said after Sunday's practice."I think that he has played well."

Okafor has been a standout through training camp and the preseason, scoring a combined 24 points on 10-of-13 shooting through two preseason games. His offseason weight loss has made him more agile, and he seems intent on proving that he deserves a role on the team.

This situation could give Okafor the opportunity to further his case for remaining with the Sixers beyond the trade deadline. If the team is set on moving Okafor, the additional playing time could help to increase his trade value if he continues to improve, especially on the defensive end.

George Dempsey dies

The Sixers released a statement announcing that George Dempsey, a Merchantville High School product who played for the Philadelphia Warriors and Syracuse Nationals from 1954-59, has died. He was 88.

"Born in Philadelphia and raised in South Jersey, Dempsey won an NBA title with the Warriors in 1956. The 76ers organization sends its condolences to Dempsey's family and friends," the statement read.

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