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Joel Embiid on COVID-19 Bout: 'I Really Thought I Wasn't Going to Make It'

Sixers center Joel Embiid described his recent bout with COVID-19 following his return to play Saturday.

“It hasn’t been good. That jawn hit me hard,” Embiid said. “I really thought I wasn’t going to make it. It was that bad. So I’m just thankful to be sitting here. I struggled with it, but I’m just glad that I got over it and I’m here doing what I love with some good people.”

Embiid returned to action on Saturday after missing nine games due to health and safety protocols. He scored 42 points and added 14 rebounds, three assists and two blocks in his return, but Philadelphia fell 121–120 in double-overtime to the Timberwolves. 

He reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 on Nov. 8 amid an outbreak of the virus on the team. Tobias Harris, Isaiah Joe and Matisse Thybulle had all been placed in the league's health and safety protocols prior to Embiid's reported positive test.

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Embiid added of his COVID-19 bout that he "couldn't breathe" at times and had headaches "worse than a migraine."

"I didn't think I was going to play tonight," Embiid said. "To me, it's a miracle I played this many minutes, but it's good. Tonight is on me. I turned the ball over too much [four times] and missed a couple free throws."

With the loss, Philadelphia dropped to 10–10 on the season. They host the Magic on Monday with tipoff set for 7:30 p.m. ET.

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