Optimism Joel Embiid Can Return In Regular Season

Speaking to reporters before Wednesday’s game vs. the Clippers, Sixers head coach Nick Nurse said he was optimistic about the odds of Joel Embiid returning before the 2023/24 regular season ends.

I think there’s a very good likelihood that he will return before the play-in, playoff,” Nurse said, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN.

As Bontemps writes, Philadelphia is currently the No. 8 seed in the East and is fighting to avoid the play-in tournament. The team has gone just 10-17 since Embiid sustained a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee in late January, an injury that required surgery.

Nurse said while there’s no official timeline for Embiid’s return, the Cameroonian big man continues to do on-court work.

Following up on Nurse’s comments, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on NBA Countdown that Embiid will likely be back in action within the next couple weeks (Twitter video link).

I’m told it’s not a question of if, but when,” Wojnarowski said. “And the belief is with nine regular season games left after tonight against the Clippers, that Joel Embiid can be back for a handful of those.

… There’s a lot of optimism right now around Joel Embiid. I’m told that he is moving well — he has looked good on the court.

Philadelphia will have five games remaining on April 6 and four left on April 7 for a road back-to-back in Memphis and San Antonio. The Sixers will return home for the final three games of the season, starting with an April 9 contest vs. Detroit. If Wojnarowski’s projection is accurate, it’s possible Embiid could return at any point during that time frame.

Embiid was the frontrunner for his season straight MVP award prior to the injury, averaging 35.3 PPG, 11.3 RPG, 5.7 APG, 1.1 SPG and 1.8 BPG in 34 games (34.0 MPG).

View Comments (10)