Joel Embiid has missed the last five games but the Philadelphia 76ers star expects to return from a left knee injury sometime next week.
The Sixers lost 120-117 to the Golden State Warriors with Embiid sidelined on Saturday night.
Embiid began experiencing difficulties prior to the All-Star break and was initially forecasted to miss a week. An MRI exam was negative.
The All-Star center also said if he had to play now, he could, but the team preferred he take a cautious approach — something he has resisted in the past.
“Right now it’s all about preserving, all about the playoffs,” said Embiid. “I’ve said it in the past, but I’ve matured a lot. I’ve learned not to fight on stupid stuff. If the team wants me to rest, I’ll listen, and if I feel good, I’ll play. But if I need some rest, at the end of the day, it’s all about being healthy. I understand it.”
Despite his absence from the Sixers lineup, Embiid started and played 23 minutes in the All-Star Game though he denied any connection to his current status.
“All-Star Game, I was good,” Embiid said. “It had nothing to do with playing in the All-Star Game. Nothing was bothering me. But after that, I just felt like with us being in a great position to make the playoffs, and at the end of the day, it’s about making sure I’m good for the rest of my career and these playoffs.”
Philadelphia hosts the Orlando Magic on Tuesday, then plays at Chicago on Wednesday and at Houston on Friday before returning home for a showdown with the Indiana Pacers on Sunday.
The 24-year-old is averaging 27.3 points and 13.5 rebounds in 54 games this season.
–Field Level Media