Michael Carter-Williams had his first career triple-double against the Magic but will miss Friday's game at Charlotte with a sore knee. (USA Today Images)
Updated: 6:52 p.m.
Michael Carter-Williams is learning just how tough the rigors of the NBA are. His 6-foot-6, 185-pound frame has bumps and bruises on it like every other NBA player, although his latest bump had him sidelined during Thursday’s practice and will keep him out of Friday night's game at Charlotte.
Carter-Williams has a sore right knee after going knee to knee with someone in Sunday’s game at Detroit. He played 34 minutes in that game and on Tuesday played 46 minutes in the double-overtime win against Orlando -- a game in which MCW recorded his first ever triple-double.
MCW was hurting in the locker room afterwards, even after receiving treatment. Wednesday, he got treatment again in an effort to reduce the swelling in his knee, and Thursday, he did the same.
After practice, Carter-Williams left open the possibility that he could play Friday, but he did not make the trip to Charlotte. He is officially listed as day to day.
“It is out there, the importance of playing through pain, building a reputation with your teammates that there is a toughness and a resiliency that you get through things, and then it falls into, it's just not smart,” Brett Brown said following practice, taking the onus off his starting point guard.
Brown preaches often that no one is 100 percent healthy in the NBA -- it is one of the hazards of the job. But he knows what Carter-Williams means to the Sixers franchise and that MCW’s right knee needs to be more right than it is.
“Michael is all-in, he is good to go, but he has been advised that we have to be really cautious,” Brown said. “He understands that, and so do I. It surprised me when he took off the knee brace in the overtime and I looked down and saw his knee. It is maroon. It is swollen, and if you put your hand on it, it was warm because of the swelling.”
Carter-Williams has played in 15 games this season. A year ago at Syracuse, he did not play his 15th game until Jan. 6.
The college schedule is nowhere near the grind of the pros, and that takes some getting used to.
“I was never hurt, I never missed time in college, so this is definitely a little different,” Carter-Williams said. “But this is just how it happens. I am just trying to be patient and take it one day at a time.”
Carter-Williams was sidelined earlier in the season for four games with a bruised arch in his left foot. A red flag goes up when a player repeatedly is sidelined with injury, but in Carter-Williams' case, the injuries are unrelated and it was a fluke that both happened.
After playing Friday in Charlotte, the Sixers return home to play Denver in a back-to-back. Don’t be surprised if Carter-Williams sports street clothes that night, too -- it falls in the category of being smart.