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Sixers Notes: Embiid, Okafor, Noel, Simmons

Joel Embiid has been cleared for 28 minutes per game, another sign that his recovery from foot problems is going well, relays Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The rookie center had been limited to 24 minutes along with restrictions on back-to-back games. Even with those limits, he has averaged 18.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per night in 12 contests. The decision to expand his minutes was made after consultations with team doctors. Embiid underwent a CT scan on Monday that showed his foot is in good shape. “Everybody would see the impact that Joel has when he is on the floor,” Sixers coach Brett Brown said. “The four minutes by all indications will give us a better chance of winning.”

There’s more news out of Philadelphia:

  • The postponement of tonight’s game with the Kings robbed fans of the chance to see Embiid and Jahlil Okafor on the court together, writes Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inquirer. The Sixers’ first-round picks in 2014 and 2015 have shared the court for just two minutes and 36 seconds so far this season, but Brown had planned to use them extensively to match up with Sacramento’s big front line. “Tonight, there are matchups the other team puts on the floor that justify it and feel it’s not hurting the team,” Brown said before the game. “You want to judge it on defense and are we getting up and down the floor and matchups, but tonight seems like a good night to make it happen.”
  • Nerlens Noel is expected to join the Sixers for practice on Thursday after a short stay in the D-League, tweets Derek Bodner of PhillyMag. Noel was sent to the team’s affiliate in Delaware Tuesday on a rehab assignment.
  • Rookie Ben Simmons continues his slow recovery from surgery after fracturing his right foot in October, Bodner tweets. Simmons, who is expected to take over at point guard when he returns, was at a recent practice working on post passes to Embiid and Okafor while sitting on a chair.

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