New details on the knee injury to 76ers star Joel Embiid came out Sunday night and it isn’t exactly good news for Philadelphia.

The 76ers announced Embiid will have a procedure this week to aid his left meniscus injury and ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the “door isn’t closed” on the 7-foot, 280-pound center returning this season. Wojnarowski did note that Embiid is “expected to miss an extended period of time, but a more precise timeline isn’t expected until doctors complete the procedure.”

It’s a tough hit for both the 76ers and Embiid, but teams in the Eastern Conference, including the Boston Celtics, surely won’t feel sorry for Philadelphia.

Embiid being out weeks or even months removes the 76ers from being a title contender in the East and makes the road to the NBA Finals that much easier for the Celtics. The 76ers, who are in fifth place in the East as of Sunday night, are most likely a fringe playoff team without Embiid in the lineup. Philadelphia is 1-1 since Embiid went out with the injury and 4-10 when he hasn’t played this season.

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The 76ers also have no backup plan to even partially cover up Embiid’s absence. Paul Reed just doesn’t put the same fear in teams that the reigning MVP, who is averaging a career-best 35.3 points per game, did.

Even if the best-case scenario comes out of this for the 76ers and Embiid returns by the end of the regular season or just in time for the playoffs, what kind of shape is he going to be in? The 76ers won’t be able to count on him as much as they did before — Embiid has looked worn down in the playoffs before when healthy — and their positioning in the East certainly will change with them most likely trying to just get a spot in the play-in tournament.

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And with Embiid, there always seems to be another injury right around the corner for someone who has had several injuries to his legs throughout his career.

Embiid’s injury just continues to open up the path for the Celtics, who stand at an NBA-best 38-12. The 76ers won’t provide much of a threat with Embiid gone or Embiid having to get through a play-in tournament before having to ramp it up for a playoff series against the Celtics.

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Sure, the Milwaukee Bucks are still there as a contender and perhaps the Cleveland Cavaliers or the New York Knicks could figure things out in the playoffs. And despite their 26-24 record, there’s always the Miami Heat, who are 2-5 since acquiring Terry Rozier.

But with Embiid out, the 76ers will barely be on the Celtics’ radar, if at all. And with the 76ers not in the picture, the Celtics are running out of excuses if they don’t make it back to the Finals.

Featured image via Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports Images