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Joel Embiid OUT for Game 4 vs. Nets Saturday with knee injury

The 76ers big man suffers yet another postseason ailment.

Philadelphia 76ers v Brooklyn Nets - Game Three
Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers dribbles against Royce O’Neale #00 of the Brooklyn Nets during the second half of Game Three of the Eastern Conference First Round Playoffs at Barclays Center on April 20, 2023 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The 76ers won 102-97.
Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid has been ruled out for Game 4 Saturday against the Brooklyn Nets with a knee injury. It’s officially a knee sprain for Embiid, who has once again suffered a postseason injury at a crucial time.

The 76ers haven’t put a firm timetable on his return, saying he could return as early as next week. Philadelphia should be able to take care of this Nets team without Embiid, but the Celtics have cruised through their series with the Hawks for two games. There might not be a lot of rest for the second-round matchup if Boston keeps winning, which means the 76ers could potentially be without Embiid for a game or even two in that series.

With Embiid sidelined, look for Paul Reed to be a bigger factor in the rotation and possibly even get the start for Philadelphia. James Harden and Tyrese Maxey will take on bigger scoring roles offensively, and Tobias Harris will have more usage as well.

Embiid always seems to come down with an injury at the worst time, and this is much worse than the facial fracture he suffered last postseason when he was able to return after missing some games. Knee injuries are nothing to play with, especially given Embiid’s history. The Sixers will be cautious while also knowing this could be their best chance at a championship. Expect Embiid to push through the injury and play at less than 100% if it comes down to that, but for now he’s out for Game 4.