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Elton Brand expects Joel Embiid to be ready when the 76ers begin the playoffs this weekend. But the Sixers general manager couldn’t say for sure that the All-Star center would be on the court.

“I am optimistic that he will be ready this weekend and will do everything to get back, but of course he is the major key,” Brand said during a news conference before the Sixers’ final regular-season game, against the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Sixers will begin the playoffs Saturday against Brooklyn.

Even though Embiid played a career-high 64 games this season, he has missed five of the last seven and 14 of the final 24.

Embiid and the rest of the starters didn’t play Wednesday, with the game having no bearing on the Sixers’ playoff standing. They were locked in as the No. 3 seed.

Brand was asked if Embiid possibly wouldn’t play this weekend.

“It is possible,” he said.

Embiid was listed as out Wednesday with load management, left knee soreness.

Brand was cautious while talking about Embiid.

“I am optimistic he plays this weekend, but it is a combination of how he feels,” Brand said. “I think he will present well and be ready; you don’t know.”


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