The Philadelphia 76ers escaped with a hard-fought win on Thursday night in their Game 3 encounter against the Brooklyn Nets. The Sixers, however, did not come out of that crucial win unscathed, with Joel Embiid reportedly suffering an injury that could potentially derail Philly's playoff run this season.
According to ESPN's NBA gurus Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne, Embiid's MRI results revealed a sprained right knee. The MVP frontrunner has now been ruled out for Game 4 on Saturday:
🚨 BREAKING: Joel Embiid is OUT for Game 4 of Sixers-Nets after an MRI revealed a sprained right knee, per @wojespn & @ramonashelburne.
There is "optimism" Embiid could return to action as soon as early next week. pic.twitter.com/sTOBX2eLub
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) April 22, 2023
The silver lining for Sixers fans here is that Embiid could be back in action next week, which means that this does not appear to be a major injury. However, it's also possible that Embiid is forced to sit out for an extended period, which will clearly have a significant impact on Philly's title hopes this season.
The best-case scenario for the Sixers now would be if they are able to defeat the Nets in Game 4 on Saturday and complete a first-round sweep of their opponents. This will give Embiid more time to recover as they potentially await the winners of the series between the Boston Celtics and the Atlanta Hawks.
It is worth noting, however, that the Celtics and the Hawks play on Friday, and Jayson Tatum and Co. could bury Atlanta in an insurmountable 3-0 hole with a win in Game 3. The Celtics could also end that series earlier than expected.
Whatever the case might be, the sad reality for the Sixers is that it's not likely that Embiid is going to be a hundred percent for the remainder of the playoffs. The MVP frontrunner will have no other choice but to play through this injury.