NEW ORLEANS — Boban Marjanovic’s knee injury apparently isn’t as bad as it looked.
An MRI Tuesday on the 76ers reserve center’s right knee came back negative, a source said. Serbian website B92.net first reported the result. Marjanovic’s agent, Misko Raznatovic, told the website that he doesn’t expect the 7-foot-3, 290-pounder to be sidelined long.
It’s good news for the Sixers (39-22) that there doesn’t appear to be structural damage.
They had acquired Marjanovic with Tobias Harris and Mike Scott from the Los Angeles Clippers before the Feb. 7 deadline. Marjanovic is expected to provide quality minutes as the backup to Joel Embiid.
But he suffered a huge scare in Monday night’s 111-110 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center.
The 30-year-old hurt the knee on a defensive play with a little more than a minute left. His leg twisted as he got tangled up with Pelicans reserve forward Cheick Diallo while the two scrambled for the ball in the paint.
Marjanovic was in noticeable pain after falling to the court. He even pounded his hand on the hardwood. The Serbian had to be helped to the locker room and left the arena on crutches.
“I’m praying that he’ll be all right,” Harris, Marjanovic’s best friend on the team, said after the game. “He took a hard fall there. But I think he will be all right.”
Marjanovic was playing well before the injury. He had 12 points on 6-for-8 shooting, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots in 13 minutes, 4 seconds of action. It was his second double-double in three games. Marjanovic is averaging 9.0 and 6.3 rebounds and 17 minutes in seven games with the Sixers.