76ers hope to avoid uncomfortable reality after Joel Embiid injury

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Sixers center Joel Embiid saw less than a quarter of action before exiting Game 4 for good.

Minutes into the first quarter on Sunday in Washington, Embiid went up for a layup over Wizards big man Robin Lopez and took a hard fall to the floor. He’d stay down reeling in pain as his teammates made it back down the court on defense.

At first, it appeared as though Embiid injured his back or hip, though he was later ruled out with right knee soreness.

Following Philadelphia’s 122-114 loss, Sixers head coach Doc Rivers said Embiid will undergo “precautionary” tests on Tuesday. A diagnosis on his right knee is still pending. Any significant injury to Embiid, an NBA MVP finalist, would be a massive blow to the top-seeded Sixers’ title hopes.

A win would’ve swept the Wizards, punched the Sixers’ ticket to the second round and sent them home to Philadelphia for a week of rest before the next series.

This injury scare comes after Embiid suffered a bone bruise in his left knee on March 12 in Washington — a setback that sidelined him for 10 games.

Initially, Embiid thought the worst of the injury and feared it was a torn ACL, he told ESPN in a cover story in May.

Embiid’s left knee has taken the brunt of his injuries through the years. In 2017, he suffered a torn meniscus and tendinitis in 2019, both in his left knee.

After the game, point guard Ben Simmons said the Sixers “need Jo to win.”

Joel Embiid lies on the floor with injury during the Sixers' loss to the Wizards.
Joel Embiid lies on the floor with injury during the Sixers’ loss to the Wizards.
Getty Images

“He’s a big part of this team. If he’s not there next game, we’ve got to close it out. We’ve got what we need. Hopefully he is back,” he said.

Embiid, before he went down, was dominant throughout the Sixers-Wizards series, especially in Game 3, in which he recorded 36 points and eight rebounds in a 132-103 win.

Game 5 is set for Wednesday in Philadelphia.

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