76ers’ Joel Embiid Was ‘Depressed’ After Latest Knee Injury

After the Philadelphia 76ers defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder, Joel Embiid told NBA reporters that he was “depressed” after his latest knee injury. 

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Embiid underwent surgery on his left knee to address a meniscus injury. He was diagnosed with a displaced flap of his meniscus and missed 29 games. 

“Usually when I have injuries I just tell myself onto the next one, get better, I’m gonna fix it,” Embiid said, via The Athletic. “But this one took a toll mentally. Being depressed and it was not a good one. Still not where I’m supposed to be, especially mentally. But I just love to play. I love basketball. And I want to play. Any chance that I can be out there, I’m going to take it.”

Embiid returned to the lineup last night (4/2) and put up 24 points, six rebounds and seven assists in 29 minutes while shooting 6-of-14 from the field and 12-of-12 from the free-throw line. 

The Sixers beat the Thunder by four points. 

“I’ve learned a lot over the years and I got to take care of myself,” Embiid said. “Got to stay healthy. Because I still have a long career ahead of me. So I think he’s all about now and the future. So if something doesn’t feel right, they’re gonna shut it down.”

The Sixers are 41-35 on the season. They are in eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings. 

One of the best players in the NBA, Embiid is now averaging 35.0 points, 11.1 rebounds and 5.7 assists on the season while shooting 53.1% from the field, 35.7% from beyond the arc and 88.7% from the free-throw line.

“It’s like the first day of school again,” Sixers forward Kelly Oubre Jr. said about Embiid’s return. “You’re kinda coming back from spring break or winter break, and you got your friend back. He’s the cool guy in class that we’ve definitely been missing. He’s been out for some time. But that’s our team. We built this team around him, and we have to continue to polish the pieces around it so we can be a well-oiled machine.”

The Sixers have never advanced past the second round of the playoffs in the Embiid era. Embiid signed a four-year, $213 million extension with the Sixers in August 2021. He’s making $47.6 million this season and will make $51.4 million in 2024-25. 

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