The Philadelphia 76ers may be able to get their franchise big man, superstar center Joel Embiid, to return to action as soon as Saturday. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Wednesday that Embiid, who tested positive for COVID-19 and has missed eight games in the past three weeks, could return as soon as Saturday for a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
There are always unknowns when a player contracts the virus and enters the NBA’s health and safety protocols, which require players to sit out a minimum of 10 days. Compounding matters is how long the player needs to regain their conditioning. Recently, Joel Embiid has been working to get his conditioning up to playing standards.
Embiid had a strong start before being sidelined. In nine games, Embiid averaged 21.4 points, 9.6 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.4 blocks per game while shooting 43.5% from the field and 39.4% from 3-point range.
Time for Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers to get back on the right track
Since beginning the season with an 8-2 record, the Sixers (10-8) have lost six of the eight games they played without franchise big man Joel Embiid. And they will play without him again Wednesday night in San Francisco against the NBA’s best team, the Golden State Warriors (15-2). The team has obviously missed the elite skills of Embiid in a big way.
The Philadelphia 76ers, currently sitting ninth in the Eastern Conference, will try to get back on the right track and string together some wins. If Embiid can return Saturday against the Minnesota Timberwolves (8-9), Philadelphia will have another home game, against the Orlando Magic (4-14), on Monday before embarking on a four-game road trip.
On the road, the 76ers will face four strong teams: Boston (10-8), Atlanta (9-9) and Charlotte (11-8) twice.
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For a team that some considered as a potential contender in the Eastern Conference, it will be important for the 76ers to get Embiid back in a groove as soon as possible.