Joel Embiid doubtful for 76ers playoff opener with lingering knee pain

Yahoo Sports

Joel Embiid’s always lingering injury concern has struck at the worst time for the Philadelphia 76ers star.

The 25-year-old center remained relatively healthy for most of the regular season, but left knee pain sidelined him down the stretch and continues to be a problem on the eve of the NBA playoffs.

Scroll to continue with content
Ad

Embiid on how knee feels: ‘I don’t know’

Embiid told reporters on Friday that he continues to experience pain in his knee, and his status for Saturday’s playoff opener against the Brooklyn Nets is unclear.

NBCSPhilly’s Serena Winters reports that the pain Embiid has experienced since the All-Star break has increased recently while ESPN’s Cassidy Hubbarth reports that Embiid responded “I don’t know” when asked how his knee felt on Friday.

The team later listed Embiid as doubtful for Saturday’s game.

Joel Embiid doesn't sound optimistic about playing in Saturday's playoff opener against the Nets. (AP)
Joel Embiid doesn't sound optimistic about playing in Saturday's playoff opener against the Nets. (AP)

Lingering knee pain

Embiid was inactive for 14 of the 76ers’ final 24 regular-season game with the knee pain described on injury reports as tendinitis.

Embiid is one of the game’s dominant forces when healthy, averaging 27.5 points, 13.6 rebounds. 3.7 assists and 1.9 blocks in 64 games this season.

Injuries have plagued him throughout his career, and he has never played more than 64 games in a season. Foot and knee injuries have sidelined him for long periods of time, including a torn meniscus in his ailing left knee suffered in 2017.

Upon hearing early reports that Embiid may not play Game 1, Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said that his team is preparing as if Embiid will play.

“We’re planning on him playing,” Atkinson said. “I think that’s what’s going to happen. That’s my experience. We’ll adjust if he doesn’t play.”

More from Yahoo Sports:



What to Read Next