Sixers Unsure If Or How Long Robert Covington (back) Will Be Out

CLEVELAND - The Sixers are waiting to learn more about Robert Covington's scary back injury suffered late in Saturday's loss to the Cavaliers (see observations).

Covington suffered a lower back contusion after he tumbled out of bounds and over the courtside seats by the Cavs' bench attempting to save a possession with 1:08 remaining. There is an approximate four-to-five inch drop off from the court to the area where he landed in Quicken Loans Arena. Covington hit his lower back on a metal object when he fell. He gingerly walked off the court with the help of teammates.

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His status for Sunday's game against the Pelicans in New Orleans - and beyond that - will be determined. Covington will be with the team in New Orleans, but the Sixers are unsure if he'll play.

"I can't assume anything," Brett Brown said. "I don't know. It would seem so."

Because of the location of the fall and its distance away from the court, many of Covington's teammates didn't notice what happened at first. Once JJ Redick realized, he stood by Covington as he was tended to by the Sixers' medical staff.

"It's scary to see your teammate like that," Redick said. "They said he fell on his back. I wanted to make sure he's walking and not in too much pain. But I just wish the best for him and hope he's OK."

The fall occurred while the Sixers were chasing the Cavaliers' lead and trailed by only three. It is not uncommon for Covington to make a hustle play in that scenario, or really at any point in the game. He ranks fourth in the league in total deflections (83), behind only Paul George, Thaddeus Young and Andre Drummond. Covington is second on the Sixers in loose balls recovered.

"I was just shocked because I didn't know he was down," Ben Simmons said. "I just spoke to him, so hoping he's good."

If Covington cannot play Sunday, the Sixers will have to fill an offensive and defensive gap in the starting lineup.

Covington is averaging 15.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.6 steals this season.

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