While the Boston Celtics are nearing full strength, another NBA title contender in the Eastern Conference is dealing with an injury to a star player.
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid is enduring “significant pain and discomfort” in his right thumb, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Ramona Shelburne reported Friday. This news comes one day after ESPN reported that Milwaukee Bucks star forward Khris Middleton will miss the remainder of their first-round series against the Chicago Bulls due to an MCL sprain.
Embiid practiced Friday and expects to play in Game 4 on Saturday on the road against the Toronto Raptors with Philadelphia holding a 3-0 series lead. Sources told Wojnarowksi and Shelburne that an MRI might be required to see if there is any ligament damage in Embiid’s thumb and he was seen wearing a wrap on the ailing area during practice.
“He’s good,” 76ers coach Doc Rivers said after practice, per ESPN. “We did a lot of stuff … we just don’t want anybody to hit his arms and hands and all that. But he’s fine.”
Embiid told reporters there’s “no chance” he misses Game 4. If the thumb is bothering Embiid, he certainly hasn’t shown it on the court. Embiid put together a massive performance in Philadelphia’s 104-101 overtime victory in Game 3 by scoring 33 points, including knocking down the game-winning 3-pointer with 0.8 seconds left in the extra frame. Embiid also grabbed 13 rebounds in the win.
Celtics center Robert Williams, who has been sidelined since tearing his meniscus on March 27, reportedly is expected to return to action in limited minutes for Game 3 against the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday with tip-off coming at 7:30 p.m. ET.