The Philadelphia 76ers have been without their All-Star center in Joel Embiid for seven games in a row heading into Friday, but they’ve managed to post a 4-3 record over that stretch. While the knee injury suffered by the 24-year-old star kept him out since just after the All-Star break, he’s slowly but surely getting closer to a return. But more importantly, his injury doesn’t appear to be anything serious.
Embiid’s knee ailment has been called a sore knee along with knee tendinitis by various outlets, and there’s little reason to believe there’s much to it beyond that. For good measure, Ky Carlin of Sixers Wire pointed out that Embiid was able to practice on Monday of this week. He missed both of Philly’s games last two against the Orlando Magic and Chicago Bulls and is now out against the Houston Rockets. But even still, the outlook for a return this weekend is positive.
Joel Embiid Potentially Set to Return Sunday
The Sixers will have at least one more game without Embiid on Friday, but as Kyle Neubeck of The Philly Voice reported, the young center has taken strides in the right direction. Beyond that, there’s a belief that he may be able to return to the cour ton Sunday against the Indiana Pacers for a crucial game with playoff implications.
Similar comments were made by Brian Michael Jacobs of Philly Front Office, who reported that Embiid is “fine,” and stated that the comments he heard were similar to those from Neubeck.
These are positive signs, but there still has yet to be any firm commitment on Embiid’s return for the game Sunday.
Brett Brown Says Joel Embiid Doing Light Contact Work
Prior to the Sixers’ game against the Rockets, head coach Brett Brown spoke with the media and was asked about Embiid. As Keith Pompey of the Philly Inquirer revealed, Brown stated that the team’s starting center’s “spirits are great” and that his “knee is getting stronger.” He would not commit to a firm return date at this point but did respond to the question about what types of things Embiid has been able to do recently, per Pompey.
“He did some sort of light contact work, he does the basic strength and conditioning. We hope to amp that up a little bit with some 3-on-3, 4-on-4 type environment instead of 1-on-1 stuff.” Brown stated.
We’ll have to wait for the weekend to find out if Embiid is indeed able to go on Sunday, but he’s trending towards a return at this point. In his absence, Amir Johnson and Jonah Bolden have seen the bulk of the minutes at center due to Boban Marjanovic also being sidelined with a knee injury.