At long last, Philadelphia superstar Joel Embiid is slated to return to action. The big man is expected to suit up when the 76ers host the Minnesota Timberwolves this Saturday, April 3rd. Embiid has missed the last nine games with a knee injury after landing awkwardly in a matchup with the Washington Wizards on March 12th.
The team has actually fared well in his absence, posting a 6-3 record with all three losses coming at the hands of fellow championship contenders (Bucks, Clippers, Nuggets). Even without their anchor on the inside, the 76ers continued to showcase their defensive physicality. Additionally, Tobias Harris assumed an even larger scoring role, averaging 22.7 points per game during this stretch without Embiid.
However, the 76ers have lost their grip on the top spot in the Eastern conference since the Embiid injury. The Brooklyn Nets are surging and currently have a half game lead over Philadelphia in the standings. The 76ers will certainly need Embiid to return to the MVP caliber form he was sporting pre-injury in order to reclaim that number one seed.
While it’s more than likely that Embiid has missed too much time this season to be seriously considered in the MVP discussion, the Sixers are just glad to have their best player back and healthy. Barring any setbacks, Philly fans will be watching Embiid dominate on the court once again this weekend.