Joel Embiid is expected to return back into the lineup against Minnesota Timberwolves after recovering from a knee injury. The MVP candidate has been absent from the 76ers last nine games in the league.
Embiid won’t be able to recover in time for the franchise’s upcoming fixture against Cleveland Cavaliers. That stretches his number of missed games this season to 17.
76ers star Joel Embiid (knee) is expected to return on Saturday vs. Minnesota, sources tell @TheAthletic@Stadium. Barring any setbacks, the MVP candidate is back in the lineup Saturday after missing three weeks
The Eastern Conference is still in the control of the 76ers despite the prolonged absence of the power forward. Maintaining a record of 6-3 without the ace player in their lineup, the 76ers are constantly warding Brooklyn Nets’ efforts for the number one seed in the East.
Reports emerged last week claiming that the franchise will be extremely cautious while plotting the player’s return back onto the court, keeping the playoffs in mind.
The 27-year-old has averaged 29.9 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.4 blocks per game so far this season.
It was also said that Embiid is feeling much better and making an early recovery from the injury to his knee which was diagnosed as a bone bruise.
“I’m told Joel Embiid is actually feeling a lot better than he expected in the first few days of his injury,” Shams Charania of Stadium reported. “I would not be surprised if he’s really pushing that two-week timetable and might even be able to come back earlier.”
Embiid will have to claw his way up the ladder for MVP contention
Embiid was the favourite for the MVP award, but he has been overtaken by the likes of Nikola Jokic, James Harden and LeBron James over the course of three weeks. With LeBron out injured as well, Embiid will have to thwart competition to make a statement for the award.
With their loss against the Nuggets earlier, the 76ers slid to the second spot in the Eastern Conference table while Nets reached the summit following their win over Houston Rockets.