Joel Embiid doesn’t want to wait any longer. He’s itching to get back on the court — and could be cleared as early as tonight.
The Sixers’ big man is still waiting for medical clearance from team doctors on his dislocated finger, something that could come as soon as one or two hours before tip-off of Tuesday’s game against the Golden State Warriors.
But don’t be surprised if Embiid pushes through the injury ahead of schedule. The 7-footer would love nothing better to return as a hero to an adoring crowd at Wells Fargo Center, on the very same night the team intends to honor Kobe Bryant.
Embiid’s injury — officially diagnosed as a torn radial collateral ligament of the fourth metacarpal on his left hand — was supposed to be out for at least a month. Well, he’s now missed nine games in a span of three weeks. Embiid is getting impatient and the Sixers need to climb up the standings, all the way up to the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference.
“I think usually this stuff takes a month to get back from,” Embiid said, via The Athletic‘s Joe Vardon. “It’s been two weeks. It can take longer, but I am not happy with where we are and just gotta keep praying and hoping it keeps getting better so I can get back out there with my guys.”
Losing Taking Toll on Embiid, Helping Him Heal Faster
The Sixers have gone a surprising 6-3 in Joel Embiid’s absence as Ben Simmons has taken his game to another level.
Following the Sixers’ 108-91 win over the Lakers this past weekend, Simmons has averaged nearly a triple-double a night — 21.8 points, 10.2 rebounds, 8.2 assists — in January. Last week, the guard was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week.
But Philadelphia had been on a major skid right before Embiid dislocated his finger and it didn’t resonate well with the big man from Cameroon. Not at all. Embiid was brutally honest with reporters about how the losing was affecting him in a negative way.
“The way I’m being guarded, I’m being doubled every time I have the ball and everybody crowds the paint, so it’s kind of hard to just move the ball and just keep it moving and find ways to score,” Embiid told ESPN. “So it is frustrating. I care about winning. It’s taking a toll on me. All I care about is winning. It sucks. We’ve got to find a way. I guess we’ve got to keep fighting.”