Embiid hopes to return from knee injury next week for 76ers

PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia 76ers All-Star center Joel Embiid expects to return to the lineup next week from a sore left knee that has cost him the last five games.

Embiid sat out again Saturday night against the Golden State Warriors and has not played since the 2019 NBA All-Star Game on Feburary 17. The 24-year-old Embiid is averaging 27.3 points and 13.5 rebounds in 54 games for the Sixers. Embiid underwent an MRI last week, which revealed no structural damage, and he will undergo physical therapy

“It’s all about long term preservation and making sure I’m ready not just for the playoffs, but also for the next 15 years,” Embiid said.

Embiid said he could “for sure” play through the mild tendinitis but wanted to rest up for the stretch run and the playoffs. Embiid also dismissed any connection between his soreness and playing 23 minutes in the All-Star Game.

He did not give a specific game for his return, but the Sixers play again Tuesday against Orlando, and three more time through March 10.