76ers' Al Horford is in a 'Much Better Place' Health-Wise

Justin Grasso

Before the 2019-2020 NBA season went into suspension, it appeared the Philadelphia 76ers were getting healthier and ready to make a playoff run. As a multi-month suspension came about, though, the Sixers saw the silver lining.

Despite having guys like Al Horford, Joel Embiid, and Tobias Harris available, the Sixers' top players were dealing with some setbacks. Harris and Embiid's injury issues were known to the public. Horford's, however, wasn't.

"I probably wasn't where I wanted to be," Horford admitted on Friday, during a virtual press conference with the media. "I'm not going to make excuses, but right now I'm in a much better place. The time off for me was beneficial. And getting to work now, the biggest challenge for us with the season coming back is doing everything at game-intensity level."

Throughout the year, Horford dealt with his fair share of hamstring and knee injuries. The big man doesn't want to use his setbacks as an excuse for some of his struggles with the Sixers, but knowing the 34-year-old veteran had the opportunity to spend several months off the court recovering from his nagging issues is an encouraging situation for Philly. Now, the 76ers, who consistently made it clear they are a team that's built for the playoffs, are looking forward to heading into the postseason with a healthy roster in Orlando. 

"I think it's a great opportunity for our team," Horford said. "The way the season was going before it stopped, we had some positives. Ben's future was uncertain, and now he's going to be good to go. We have our full team and our full roster. I believe that our group is built for the playoffs. The regular season is always tough. We have new guys and everybody trying to mesh, but I believe this is a second chance for us and a great opportunity."

Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_