Sixers news

Embiid in the ‘ramp-up period,' on track to return very soon 

Embiid’s “in the ramp-up period,” Nick Nurse told reporters Sunday. 

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All indications are that, barring any unexpected hiccups, Joel Embiid will be playing for the Sixers again shortly.

“He made the (two-game road) trip because the majority of the players were here and we practiced kind of light yesterday,” Sixers head coach Nick Nurse told reporters Sunday in Toronto before the Sixers’ win over the Raptors. “But then we also specifically did some stuff geared toward him. So he’s on court, there’s other players out there. … We’re in the ramp-up period and hopefully we’ll keep ticking that way.”

Embiid said on Feb. 29 that he planned to return this season from his left lateral meniscus injury. Nurse said last Wednesday he thought there was a “very good” likelihood the reigning MVP would be back by the end of the regular season. 

NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark reported Sunday there was “some hope he could return this week.” And on Monday morning, both ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported Embiid is nearing a return and could come back as soon as the Sixers’ Tuesday night matchup vs. the Thunder.

The Sixers later listed Embiid as out on their 1:30 p.m. ET injury report. After playing OKC, they'll visit the Heat on Thursday night.

Embiid has been sidelined since Jonathan Kuminga fell on his left knee late in the fourth quarter of the Sixers’ Jan. 30 loss to the Warriors. The Sixers have gone 11-18 during his absence and slid from fourth to eighth in the Eastern Conference standings. 

They’ve also been hurt by long-term injuries to De’Anthony Melton (lumbar spine bone stress) and Robert Covington (left knee bone bruise). Nurse said last week the Sixers were “kind of hopeful that both of them will be back at some point before this regular season ends.”

In Embiid, it appears they’re very close to getting a giant reinforcement. 

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