The 76ers and Nuggets are slated to face off Monday night, in a battle between MVP candidates Joel Embiid and Nikola Jokic.

Unfortunately, the former won’t be available for Monday’s tilt.

Philadelphia’s star center has been ruled out for the clash against Denver due to a calf injury, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Embiid, who leads the league in scoring with 33.3 points per game, reportedly attempted to go through a workout on Monday morning in hopes of being cleared to play, but the Sixers opted to err on the side of caution with the 29-year-old.

Fans hoping to see the two heavyweight MVP candidates duke it out in the paint will be disappointed, but Philly wanted to get Embiid some rest after its recent schedule had them play six games in nine days. 

While Embiid will be sidelined versus the Nuggets, Wojnarowski reports that 76ers star guard James Harden is “on track” to make his return after a three-game injury absence.

Harden has been dealing with an Achilles injury, which forced him to miss recent games against the Bulls, Warriors and Suns, two of which they lost. Fortunately, he’s expected to suit up on Monday, barring an unforeseen setback.

Embiid has appeared in 61 of the Sixers’ 74 games this season, while Harden has been available for 53. 

The 76ers (49-25) are the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference and have eight games remaining in the regular season, including Monday’s matchup against the Nuggets.