Tuesday, May 30 2023

Philadelphia 76ers’ MVP finalist Joel Embiid has been ruled out for Game 1 of their second-round series against the Boston Celtics with a sprained right knee.

Embiid was examined by doctors this week and did not to practice ahead of Monday’s Eastern Conference semifinals opener at Boston, according to reports.

The Sixers have had the longest break of any NBA team after they swept the Brooklyn Nets, winning Game 4 of that series last Saturday. Embiid was hurt in Game 3 and missed the series-clinching contest.

Embiid’s sprain has a typical recovery time of between four and six weeks, and the superstar center is “experiencing a lot of pain” in his knee currently, so it would be a “pleasant surprise” if he can play in either of the first two games of the series in Boston, according to reports.

The 29-year-old Embiid, from Cameroon, averaged 33.1 points this season to win his second straight scoring title. He also averaged 10.2 rebounds and tied a career-high with 4.2 assists per game. He played in 66 games, the second-highest total of his career.

Embiid missed two games in the second round last year and another in the first round in 2021 with various injuries, on top of the two he missed to begin the 2018 playoffs with an orbital fracture, and another in 2019, also due to a knee problem.

Embiid averaged 36.8 points and 11.8 rebounds in four games this season against the Celtics.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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