The stage is set. The Boston Celtics have booked their place in the Eastern Conference Semifinals after taking out Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks in Game 6 of their NBA Playoffs first-round series on Thursday night. Waiting for them in the next round is the Philadelphia 76ers, who for their part, have a major Joel Embiid headache on their hands.
Embiid missed Game 4 of their opening-round sweep of the Brooklyn Nets after suffering an LCL sprain in his right knee. It’s a significant injury — especially for Embiid — but it’s the playoffs, so the Sixers are rushing to get their star big man back ahead of Game 1 against the Celtics on Monday night.
Philly head coach Doc Rivers spoke to reporters on Thursday, and as expected, the biggest question on everyone’s mind was Embiid’s status moving forward. Coach Doc, however, didn’t share much:
“He’s at the doctors’ now,” the coach said, via Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer.
“You know, I’ve gotten out of that business,” Rivers added when asked about Embiid’s potential availability for practice ahead of their series opener in Boston. “I’m just going to wait. He’ll call me later. And we’ll see where he’s at.”
Sixers forward Tobias Harris, however, was more optimistic. According to Harris, Embiid is in good spirits:
“Jo is always great,” Tobias Harris said. “He’s been good. We’ve been able to see him and just make sure that he’s progressing and whatnot. So yeah, other than that, he’s good.”
Much like Rivers, though, Harris was non-commital with regard to Joel Embiid suiting up for Game 1 on Monday. It’s a race to fitness for the league’s MVP frontrunner, and it goes without saying that this injury is expected to have a significant impact on this upcoming series.
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