Joel Embiid injury updates: 76ers star doubtful for Celtics Game 1 with knee sprain

The Philadelphia 76ers are set to begin their second-round series against the Boston Celtics tonight at 7:30 PM Eastern Standard Time. However, it looks like they will have to do so without their superstar big man Joel Embiid.

According to recent reporting from Shams Charania, Embiid is doubtful to play in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals as he continues to heal from an LCL Sprain (one that is said to be more serious than a Grade 1 LCL Sprain).

As Charania noted on the Fan Duel TV Show “Run it Back,” Embiid is a “warrior” and has been known to play through injuries during big games in the past (as evidenced by his return from a broken orbital bone in his face after missing just two games last postseason). But everything is still up in the air right now, and many within the organization view it as being a “miracle” if he does play.

Embiid was at shootaround yesterday and did participate in some parts of practice, which is a sign that things are headed in the right direction and that, even if he can’t play in Game 1, he could be back before the series becomes unwinnable for Philadelphia.

Embiid suffered this injury midway through the third quarter of Game 3 of their first-round series against the Brooklyn Nets. It happened while he was contesting Cameron Johnson’s drive to the rim. After the shot, the two players’ feet got tangled up, with Embiid landing awkwardly on top of Johnson.

Embiid managed to play through the injury for the rest of the game (likely because of adrenaline), even submitting the game-saving swat to secure a 102-97 victory over Brooklyn. He did not play in the fourth and final game of the series.

It goes without saying that the more games that Embiid misses, the more the 76ers’ chances of upsetting the title-favorite Celtics dwindle. Reed performed admirably in his place in Game 4 against Brooklyn, but even he can’t mime the impact that Embiid brings to the basketball court.

Embiid is not only one of the best players in our game but it has been widely speculated that when the NBA announces the winner of the 2022-23 Most Valuable Player (MVP) award, it will be he that is hoisting up the trophy.

Hopefully, for Embiid’s sake and the sake of the entire basketball world, he’s back on the court soon.