Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

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.”