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Joel Embiid reportedly expected to be ready for playoffs after missing 76ers finale

Joel Embiid did not play in Sunday's Philadelphia 76ers regular-season finale against the Brooklyn Nets, but he's expected to be ready to play in their playoff opener, ESPN's Tim Bontemps reports.

Embiid previously returned to Philadelphia's lineup on April 2 from a midseason knee injury that required surgery and sidelined him for 29 games. He played in five of the 76ers' previous six games before being ruled out on Sunday. The decision to sit Embiid in a game with significant stakes was made as a precautionary measure, according to the report.

Philadelphia entered Sunday's final day of NBA play in seventh place in the East with a chance to move into the No. 5 or No. 6 seed. Moving into a top-6 seed would mean securing a playoff berth and avoiding the NBA's play-in tournament among teams seeded 7-10. In sitting Embiid, the 76ers prioritized the health of his injured knee for whatever game Philadelphia plays next over Sunday's result.

Embiid briefly left Friday's 125-113 win over the Orlando Magic after appearing to tweak his surgically repaired knee. He returned to the game and finished with 32 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists.

Embiid participated in practice Saturday, but was ultimately ruled out Sunday prior to tip-off. If the 76ers end up in the play-in tournament, they'll next play on Tuesday or Wednesday. If they clinch a playoff on Sunday, they'll next play next weekend.

The reigning NBA MVP, Embiid was in the MVP conversation again prior to his injury. He finishes the regular season having averaged 34.7 points, 11 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 1.7 blocks and 1.2 steals per game.

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