Joel Embiid was doubtful for Game 1 with left knee soreness, questionable for Games 2 and 3, and doubtful again for Game 4. For Game 5 of the Sixers’ first-round playoff series against the Nets, he’s checked off another injury designation — probable.
At practice Monday, Embiid told reporters of his status, “Gotta keep ‘em guessing.”
It’s clear at this stage how Embiid is listed in the injury report doesn’t reveal much. He played after being designated as “doubtful” for Games 1 and Game 4. He missed Game 3 after being officially questionable and saying pregame his knee was getting better “slowly but surely.”
Even he doesn’t seem sure of how his knee will respond on any given day.
“The body reacts differently every day,” he said Thursday. “I might feel good after the game and then in two days, maybe feel it. So I just gotta manage it.”
It’s still difficult to discern what the practical implications of managing his pain and maintaining his conditioning are for his game-to-game status.
If you believe the NBA’s official injury report, it means he’ll likely play Tuesday night in Game 5 as the Sixers, up 3-1 over the Nets, aim to advance to the second round.
At this point, though, Embiid and the Sixers have made it hard to put much stock in that report.
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