We have our latest update on Joel Embiid’s availability, coming from The Athletic’s Shams Charania:
“There is optimism that [Joel Embiid will] be able to play in Game 1 of their next series… He had a sprained knee and I think they believed this is about a 1 week injury”— Harrison Grimm (@Harrison_Grimm) April 24, 2023
Charania described Embiid’s knee sprain as “about a one-week injury.” Embiid suffered the knee sprain in Game 3, which was played on last Thursday, April 20. Assuming the Celtics take care of business tomorrow, Sixers-Celtics would kick off this Saturday, the 29th — with nearly nine days in between. If the Hawks win it would extend the start date of that series by two days, on the following Monday, May 1.
This is the second notable reporter, the other being ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reported early optimism and the early next week timeline with the Sixers and this injury.
ESPN Sources with @Ramonashelburne: An MRI revealed Sixers star Joel Embiid suffered a sprained right knee and will miss Game 4 vs. Brooklyn on Saturday. There’s optimism he could be ready to return as soon as early next week. pic.twitter.com/Btwm3ls8Vh— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 22, 2023
Fans will be relieved to hear Charania echo the early reports of optimism. Head coach Doc Rivers described the possibility of Embiid playing the first game of their next series being “50 percent at best.” It’s worth noting that Doc is notoriously inaccurate with injury updates, whether that’s just him actually being out of the know or attempting to deploy a bad smokescreen.
We now have two of the NBA’s biggest insiders saying the same thing. The Sixers are the Sixers, and I understand the need for caution, but hopefully this latest update can allow everyone to breathe a bit easier.