Rivers says MRI on Embiid’s knee did not turn out well, return date unknown
For the third straight year, following a brilliant regular season a fluke injury could derail Joel Embiid’s playoff run, and with it the 76ers’ hopes.
Embiid is out for Game 4 against the Nets Saturday with a sprained knee, and before the game Doc Rivers’ comments on the injury raised a red flag.
“From my understanding, they checked his knee out right after the game because he was complaining about some soreness behind the knee, which is always a scary thing to hear about with players,” Rivers said. “There was swelling already, which is way too early, so we did the MRI. As a coach, I hate that word. I hate those three letters, because it never comes out well. It just feels like that, whenever they tell a coach you’re going to get an MRI, it doesn’t turn out well most of the time, and this time it did not.”
Rivers would not detail the injury nor set a return timetable for Embiid, although with Philadelphia up 3-0 in its series against Brooklyn, it seems highly unlikely they would push him to be back for a Game 5 or beyond (the 76ers are still the better team and should be able to close out the series without him).
However, the 76ers will need the regular season MVP-level Embiid in the next round, likely against the Boston Celtics.
Embiid’s playoff injury history is difficult to ignore.
“Obviously, clearly that’s on your mind,” Rivers said. “But as I said, this is another obstacle in the story that we’re going to write this year, and you’re going to be OK. It may take a minute, but this is just part of it... he’s human, and goodness, this happens again. Let’s win, let’s get him back on the floor and let’s keep on our own journey.”