NBA playoffs: Joel Embiid reportedly ruled out for Game 4 after MRI reveals right knee sprain

Joel Embiid is not suspended for Game 4 against the Brooklyn Nets, but he won't be playing anyway.

The Philadelphia 76ers star had a right knee sprain revealed by an MRI and will miss Game 4 on Saturday, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne. There is reportedly optimism he will be ready to return early next week.

Embiid reportedly sustained the injury while contesting a drive by Nets guard Cam Thomas in the third quarter of the Sixers' Game 3 win. Thomas was left off-balance at the end of the play and hit the floor after tripping over Thomas.

The MVP favorite continued to play, but looked physically hobbled for the rest of the game. He did, however, get a key block in the final seconds to help seal the Sixers' 102-97 win.

The Sixers currently lead the first-round series 3-0, so Embiid's injury comes when they have plenty of room for error.

There had already been some question over whether Embiid would be available for Game 4, but due to a potential suspension, not injury. Embiid was assessed a flagrant 1 foul in Game 3 after he kicked Nets center Nic Claxton near the groin, but avoided an ejection.

While at least one other player has been suspended for striking an opponent with his foot in these playoffs, the NBA reportedly declined to suspend or fine Embiid for the kick, as well James Harden and Claxton, who were both ejected from the game.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 20: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts against the Brooklyn Nets during the first half of Game Three of the Eastern Conference First Round Playoffs at Barclays Center on April 20, 2023 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
The Sixers will go for a sweep without Joel Embiid on Saturday. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

Embiid averaged 20.0 points, 11.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.3 blocks in the first three games of the Sixers-Nets series, so far a strong follow-up to a regular season that left him the prohibitive favorite to win his first career NBA MVP award.

Game 4 is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET on Saturday in Brooklyn.