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76ers’ Joel Embiid returns to floor after suffering apparent left leg injury vs. Knicks in Game 1

Reigning MVP and star Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid left Game 1 of his team’s first-round playoff series against the Knicks with an apparent left leg injury.

With under three minutes left in the second quarter of Game 1 on Saturday, Embiid threw an alley-oop off the backboard to himself and threw down a vicious one-handed dunk over Knicks forward OG Anunoby.

Embiid, however, landed awkwardly on his left leg and immediately went down in pain. He had to be escorted to the locker room but later returned to start the third quarter.

Embiid’s latest injury looked like an aggravation of the lateral meniscus he initially hurt in January.

The star center left the Sixers rotation on Jan. 30 and returned on April 2 to play in five of Philadelphia’s final seven regular-season games.

He had 18 points in 16 minutes prior to his injury and scored 15 points in the first quarter alone.

The Sixers went 31-8 in the regular season with Embiid healthy and 16-27 in games he missed due to injury. He averaged 34.7 points, 11 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game through 39 regular season games.

“Obviously, if you’re averaging 34 points a game or 35 points a game, you’re an elite scorer. And [Embiid] does it a lot of different ways,” Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau said of Embiid. “So, he can shoot the ball. He can put it on the floor. He can post up. He can offensive rebound. And so, we have to guard him with our team. We gotta try to make him work for his points. He’s gotta see people, and then we’ll go from there.”

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