Joel Embiid injury update: 76ers star (knee) doubtful for Game 1 vs. Nets

76ers star Joel Embiid has “no idea” whether he will be ready to play when his team takes the court Saturday to face the Nets in the opening series of the Eastern Conference playoffs. 

Embiid, who has missed 14 of the 76ers’ final 24 games, provided an update on his knee before Philadelphia’s practice Friday, revealing that the pain has gotten worse in recent days. 

“Even within the pain, it is still possible [to play] but whatever I have been feeling the past couple of days has been different. It still hasn’t changed,” Embiid said, per the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Everything is good on the scans but the pain level hasn’t changed. It got worse.”

Embiid explained the decision is ultimately his to make, but the official injury report lists him as doubtful.

“I am the one feeling the pain and I know my body,” Embiid said. “They (the medical staff) are going to do whatever they can as far as getting me ready, but if my body doesn’t respond based on the pain level, there is really nothing you can do.”

The 76ers also released a statement (via the Inquirer) saying Embiid’s status for Saturday’s game will be revealed after Friday’s practice. In addition, coach Brett Brown said Embiid wouldn’t practice, according to KYW Newsradio.

“Since the game at Chicago on April 6, Joel has continued his treatment program including conditioning, strength training and physical therapy. He will be a partial participant in practice today. An initial status for Embiid’s availability in Saturday’s game vs. Brooklyn will be determined after practice today (by the 5 p.m. league reporting deadline).”

Embiid said he has been working through his treatment program, and explained the determining factor as to whether he plays will come down to the amount of pain he feels.

“Just got to keep working through it and see how I feel every day. You never know what’s going to happen,” Embiid told reporters. “Extremely frustrating but you can only control what you can and that’s the work I put in every day. I have to treat my body and I take care of it, but I guess the rest is going to follow. 

Embiid, who has averaged 27.5 points with 13.6 rebounds per game this season, reiterated he wants to play but also said he needs to be smart about his return. 

“Everybody who knows me knows I want to be on the floor and play through injuries and pain,” he said. “But if I can’t go, it means it is pretty painful.”