ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Tuesday that Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid is doubtful for Game 5 with a right knee injury after having an MRI, and that he would continue to be evaluated.
But there is optimism that Embiid's long-term status isn't in jeopardy.
According to Kyle Neubeck of PhillyVoice, "The good news, a source close to the situation told PhillyVoice, is that the Sixers feel good about the ability to manage Embiid's health from a long-term/overall playoff perspective. Information beyond that, though, has been murky."
Officially, Embiid's doubtful designation is listed as a sore right knee.
Reaching that designation was a complicated process for the Sixers after the team's chartered plane broke down on Monday evening, forcing the team to drive overnight back to Philadelphia from Washington D.C.
John Clark @JClarkNBCS
Some context about Joel Embiid being doubtful tomorrow night<br><br>Sixers did not get back to Philly till 6am, then Joel had tests done, then probably got some sleep<br><br>Sixers doctors are still looking over tests but I’m told they’re optimistic about his long term health during playoffs pic.twitter.com/Yjswy0aqzs
The Sixers medical team then needed to go over his MRI results after they were completed on Tuesday—all before submitting the injury report to the NBA by 5 p.m. ET, per league rules. With limited time, the medical team reportedly felt most comfortable with the doubtful designation.
With the MVP finalist leaving Monday's Game 4 in the first quarter and never returning, the top-seeded Sixers dropped the game to the Wizards 122-114. Philly still leads the series 3-1, though a Game 5 without Embiid would give Washington a chance to get back in the series.
"Obviously, we need Jo to win," Ben Simmons told reporters on Monday night. "He’s a big part of this team, but if he’s not there the next game, we got to close it out. We got what we need."
Embiid, 27, is averaging 24 points and 6.8 rebounds per game this postseason, though with the Sixers winning the first three games of the series by a combined 61 points, he and the rest of the starters were given plenty of rest.