TORONTO — Joel Embiid is back on the injury report.
The 76ers center is listed as probable for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Toronto Raptors because of an upper respiratory infection. He remained at the team hotel to rest while his teammates participated in this morning’s shootaround. Game 5 is set for 8 tonight at Scotiabank Arena.
“Hopefully he gets his rest up, fluids, whatever he needs to do,” Jimmy Butler said after the shootaround. “But we want him healthy. At the end of the day, we want him healthy. We want him to be out there battling with us. But I think health is more important” than attending the shootaround.
Embiid was hampered by his illness in Sunday’s Game 4 loss. He scored only 11 points on 2-for-7 shooting. He did have eight rebounds, seven assists, two steals and two blocks, and went 7-for-10 from the foul line. But Embiid missed three consecutive free throws during a critical stretch of the fourth quarter.
All this came after Embiid texted coach Brett Brown at 6:20 a.m. Sunday to say, according to Brown, “he really never felt this poorly and he was unsure, Coach, if I’m going to play.”
Embiid dealt with gastroenteritis before Game 2 of the series. He finished that game with 12 points on 2-for-7 shooting. Embiid also had six rebounds and five assists in the victory.
He was a regular on the Sixers’ injury report in the opening-round playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets because of tendinitis in his left knee. Embiid even missed Game 3 of that series and 14 of the final 24 regular-season games because of that.
Tuesday, Butler said he could see that Embiid is sick.
“I tried to stay as far away as I could, to tell you the truth,” Butler said. "I love him, but I don’t want to be sick, either. I hate being sick. Whenever I’m sick, I’m down and out. But you can tell that he wants to battle.
“He wants to be out there for his guys. He did that for us last game. We love and appreciate him for it. Like I said, I’d take him the same way tonight if need be. But with or without him, we got to win.”
The Sixers-Raptors series is tied at two games apiece.
Embiid is averaging 21.4 points, 10.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks through eight postseason games, after he averaged 27.5 points, 13.6 rebounds and 1.9 blocks during the regular season.