76ers’ Joel Embiid ‘Not Anywhere Close’ To Returning From Knee Injury

According to NBA insider Ramona Shelburne of ESPN, Philadelphia 76ers superstar Joel Embiid is “not anywhere close” to returning from his knee injury. 

Joel Embiid, 76ers, Sixers, NBA

Embiid underwent surgery on his left knee to address a meniscus injury. The future Hall of Famer was diagnosed with a displaced flap of his meniscus.

“He’s not anywhere close right now to coming back, but he is able to get on the court and do some light work here,” Shelburne said. “The hope that they have in Philly is that they can just stay in the mix for Joel Embiid to come back the last week or so of the season at least where he has a chance to get back some conditioning before the playoffs.”

Embiid told NBA reporters on February 29 that he hopes to play again this season. The Sixers are 36-29. They are in seventh place in the Eastern Conference standings. 

If the season ended today, Philadelphia would face the Miami Heat in the 7-8 play-in tournament game. 

“That’s the plan,” Embiid said. “Obviously everything has to go right, as far as getting healthy and being as close as I’m supposed to be. But yeah, that’s the plan.”

Embiid is averaging 35.3 points, 11.3 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 1.1 steals and 1.8 blocks this season while shooting 53.3% from the field, 36.6% from beyond the arc and 88.3% from the free-throw line. He has 27 double-doubles and two triple-doubles in 34 games.

Embiid will not win his second straight MVP Award since he will fall short of the NBA’s 65-game minimum to earn postseason awards. According to NBA insider Sam Amick of The Athletic, Embiid was dealing with left knee soreness all season.

“That’s why it was extremely disappointing because I was on a roll and I felt like I wasn’t even close to where I wanted to be, body-wise and basketball-wise because I wasn’t at my best,” Embiid said. “So I felt like there was still another level that I could go to. It was very disappointing. But I was having fun, playing, getting a lot of wins, dominating.”

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