Sixers’ Joel Embiid May Be Targeting Warriors or Hawks Game To Make Return

Joel Embiid Sixers Injury

Getty Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid.

Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid could return the court Tuesday or Thursday league sources tell me.

Embiid had surgery on January 10 to repair a torn collateral ligament in his left ring finger.

A 76ers source close to the situation tells me that although the All Star big man was listed as questionable in Saturday’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers, he could have played.

“The Sixers’ thinking is that they are off until Tuesday and they want to give him a few more days to recover before he makes his way back,” I was told.

Embiid practiced on Friday, the first time since his surgery. “Just trying to get back into it and make the progress that’s necessary,” Embiid said on Friday.

“But I feel good….I think my finger feels good.

“Right now wea are sixth in the East. Next week I’m hoping to play.”

Embiid injured his finger during a January 6 game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

This season, he’s averaging 24.1 points, 11.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.9. Embiid was voted as the starting center for the Eastern Conference during the NBA’s All Star Game on Feb. 16.

“He just comes in with a spirit,” said Sixers head coach, Brett Brown.

“He was just named for the third straight year as a starter to the All-Star team. He’s obviously highly gifted and highly important to what we do. To get him into the group and have him be around is significant.”

According to NBC Sports Philadelphia, a team spokesperson indicated that Embiid will be re-examined on Monday. If the Tuesday timetable holds true, he’d take the court on Tuesday against the Golden State Warriors.

It was believed that Embiid would miss four to eight weeks due to injury. “In a professional athlete, four to eight weeks would be the range where you would start looking for him on the court, I would say as a guess,” Dr. Eric Strauss told NBC Sports Philadelphia.

“But I think the surgeon at the time will be able to tell better after he’s fixed it, how long it would be.”

ESPN’s Tim Bontemps wrote that Embiid has Saturday February 1 as a possible date. They’ll play the Boston Celtics on that day.

Per Bontemps: That is the second stop on a four-game trip that also includes games against the Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks. Milwaukee has the Eastern Conference’s best record; Miami is second and Boston is fourth.

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