Is Joel Embiid playing tonight? Latest update for Game 2: 76ers at Celtics

Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia 76ers find themselves in a tough spot. While they have a clearer playoff path than in recent years, they face the Boston Celtics, who had the second-best record in the NBA, in the second round. The Celtics would be a tough matchup for the 76ers even when fully healthy, but the Sixers may be without their best player to start the series.

That is unfortunate, considering the top-seed Milwaukee Bucks were eliminated in the first round, and whoever wins this Celtics-Sixers series will be the favorite to reach the NBA Finals in the East. The Sixers still have a chance, but their championship hopes depend on if and when Joel Embiid will play.

Joel Embiid’s latest injury status for Game 2: 76ers at Celtics

Embiid is doubtful for Game 2, according to Sixers Coach Doc Rivers. Rivers’ may actually be downplaying the severity of the injury, however.

According to Shams Charania, Embiid’s injury may be more serious than initially reported and could mean that he misses at least several games. This is different from the one-to-two-week recovery time that was initially provided by the team. In fact, it casts doubt on whether Embiid will play against the Celtics.

When will Embiid play?

Embiid injured his LCL, which has a varying timetable. Kevin Durant had a similar injury earlier this season and missed a month. Embiid got injured on April 20th, and the Celtics-Sixers game is set to last up to 14 days and end no later than May 14th.

That would mean he would be unlikely to play in this series, barring a quick return. That may be the best-case scenario; however, Bleacher Report’s Jason Dumas has reported that injuries like Embiid’s can take 4-6 weeks to recover.

That could push his return from injury until June if the Sixers make it that far. Either way, he could miss the entire series against the Celtics.


It appears that Embiid may play Game 2, after all. He’s the real MVP.

Philadelphia 76ers’ full injury report

Joining Embiid on the injury report is Daniel House Jr. He is considered to be day-to-day with an illness.

Philadelphia 76ers full Conference Semifinals schedule:

Unlike the first round, the Eastern Conference Semifinals will be less spaced out. There will only be one day off in between games, aside from a potential Game 7. That definitely hurts the Sixers, who could have used an extra day in between games to give Embiid more time to recover. The same could be said for James Harden, who is 33 and will have to shoulder a much bigger offensive load without Embiid. Here is the 76ers’ full series schedule:

Wed, 5/3 @ Boston 8:00 PM TNT
Fri, 5/5 vs. Boston 7:30 PM
Sun, 5/7, vs. Boston, 3:30 PM
Tue, 5/9 @ Boston TBD TNT
Thu, 5/11 vs. Boston TBD
Sun, 5/14 @ Boston TBD

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Overall, despite the injury prognosis, it seems that Embiid may play Game 2 against the Celtics. If that is the case, then Embiid’s presence dramatically improves the Sixers’ chances against the Celtics.