76ers' Joel Embiid has 'small' lateral meniscus tear, will miss Game 5 vs. Wizards

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Joel Embiid will miss at least one game because of the knee injury he sustained during the Philadelphia 76ers' Game 4 loss to the Washington Wizards.

The Sixers said Wednesday that Embiid had a "small lateral meniscus tear" in his right knee and was officially considered day-to-day. Embiid will miss Wednesday night's Game 5, and his status is uncertain after that.

The Sixers have a 3-1 lead over Washington in their first-round playoff series. The team said that Embiid's injury "will be managed with a physical therapy and treatment program." Embiid had been listed as doubtful for Game 5 before the Sixers' announcement.

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Embiid injured his knee in the first quarter of Game 4 on Monday night as he was falling onto his back. He didn't return to the game after the injury as the Wizards were able to stave off elimination. The Sixers enter Wednesday night's game as 6.5-point favorites and a win propels them to the second round. 

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With Embiid absent for most of Game 4, Mike Scott saw his most minutes of the playoffs. Scott played over 16 minutes against the Wizards and figures to play an increased role again on Wednesday night. 

Embiid has been unstoppable when he's been on the court in the playoffs. He was averaging over 29 points per game in Philly's three wins. He'll likely finish in the top three of the NBA regular-season MVP voting despite playing in 51 of 72 games in 2020-21. He averaged 28.5 points and 10.6 rebounds in the regular season. 

His performance powered the Sixers to the No. 1 seed in the East and into the opposite side of the playoff bracket from both the Brooklyn Nets and Milwaukee Bucks. If the Sixers complete the series win over Washington, they'll play either the Atlanta Hawks or New York Knicks in the second round. Avoiding the Bucks and Nets in the second round could give Philly the opportunity to not push Embiid back as quickly as it would want to if either Milwaukee or Brooklyn was waiting in the second round. 

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