There was obvious concern about Joel Embiid when the news came that the Philadelphia 76ers center would miss time due to knee soreness. Considering Embiid missed the first two years of his career after being the No. 3 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft due to injuries, the concern is always high with the 24-year-old.
But beyond that, Embiid has been a force for the Sixers this season, posting MVP-caliber numbers of 27.3 points, 13.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.9 blocks through his first 54 games. He’s shooting 48.2 percent from the field and has logged an average of 33.7 minutes per game as well. The heavy workload surely plays a part in the fanbase’s concern after Embiid’s recent injury, but the outlook doesn’t seem too bad.
Although Embiid has missed the first six games following the All-Star break, his return is drawing near.
Positive Updates on Joel Embiid’s Knee Tendinitis
While Sixers coach Brett Brown hasn’t pegged an exact return timeline, he spoke prior to Tuesday’s game against the Orlando Magic about Embiid’s status. As Bill Uram of KYW NewsRadio revealed, he was asked if the young center’s expectation of returning this week would happen.
“I hope so. But it would be reckless to declare it official. I believe that there’s a chance that he may meet us in Houston.” Brown stated.
The Sixers coach did proceed to state that he’s unsure what that means for Embiid’s status and chances of playing against the Houston Rockets on Friday. For good measure, Ky Carlin of Sixers Wire pointed out that Embiid was able to practice on Monday, although Brown essentially said in the above video that he looked rusty.
Obviously, this all came prior to the game against the Magic, and there’s a chance additional information on Embiid’s status for Friday could come sooner than later. If so, we’ll update this post with any updates.
Sixers Stepping up in Joel Embiid’s Absence
While Embiid has missed roughly two weeks of action since the break, the Sixers have posted a 4-2 record with their losses coming against playoff teams from the Western Conference. Philly nearly knocked off the Golden State Warriors this past Saturday, falling 120-117 while they also dropped a game to the Portland Trail Blazers.
Multiple players have stepped up to fill the void in Embiid’s absence, but the play of Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris jumps out. Simmons has posted averages of 19.3 points, 11.2 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game over the six-game stretch. Harris has put up marks of 24.2 points and 9.2 rebounds while both players have logged 34 minutes or more in each of the games.
It seems Embiid will be back soon, but his teammates have done a great job making sure the Sixers continue to trend upwards. They currently hold the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference and are just a half game back of the Indiana Pacers for the third spot.