Joel Embiid injury update: 76ers star (knee) will not play in Game 3 vs. Nets

Joel Embiid will not be on the floor Thursday.

The 25-year-old star, who continues to deal with knee soreness, has been ruled out for the third game of the 76ers’ opening-round series against the Nets at the Barclays Center.

“It’s tough. That’s what tendinitis is all about,” Embiid told reporters after he was ruled out (via ESPN). “And some days you got your days and some other days is different. So even in the games that I play I just try to go out there and try to play for these guys. … I try to help us win the series and eliminate them. So whatever, whatever I can do. But it’s hard. I just got to keep pushing it and see how I do.”

Embiid was “a game-time decision” for the last two matchups. He took the court in Game 2 and tallied 23 points, along with 10 rebounds, in Philadelphia’s 145-123 win.

Embiid was again involved in controversy in that victory. He was called for a flagrant foul after elbowing Jarrett Allen in the face and apologized for the incident following the game. Embiid and fellow 76ers star Ben Simmons then immediately started laughing.

“We didn’t really like that. We thought that was kind of disrespectful, especially after the elbow he threw,” Nets guard Caris LeVert said Wednesday, via the New York Daily News. “It is what it is. There’s no love lost. It’s a playoff series. We expect that.”

Embiid missed five of the 76ers’ last seven regular-season games with the knee issue. Philadelphia coach Brett Brown described Embiid’s injury as a “slippery slope” when he met with reporters last weekend

“We are the recipient of Jo trying to inch along slowly and buy time,” Brown said (via The Philly Voice). “You win a game, two more days, you win a game, three more days, you might drop one, four more days. How do you deliver him responsibly to a later date in ultimately what you hope will be a deep playoff run?”

The two-time All-Star averaged 27.5 points and 13.6 rebounds in 33.7 minutes per game in 2018-19. He shot 48.4 percent from the field and 30 percent from 3-point range.

“It’s not as clear cut as you thought it would be on ‘how do you maintain a fitness base and still get his knee rest?’” Brown said. “What do we do to help him most now? I believe a solid plan is in place that can deliver him responsibly, incrementally to later dates.”

The 76ers and Nets entered play Thursday with their series tied at 1-1.