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Just as he's done throughout his entire playing career, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid continues to battle physical setbacks. Earlier this year, the All-Star center found himself questionable for several matchups after the first game of the season as he dealt with a sore knee after banging it on another player in the opener.

Then just as Embiid started feeling better, the four-time All-Star became one of four Sixers players to catch COVID-19 in November. After missing a couple of weeks worth of practices and games, Embiid finally returned to the floor after getting cleared by the NBA's health and safety protocol.

As his performances have been up and down while he fully recovers from aftereffects of the virus, Embiid has also been battling through a mysterious rib injury, which started bothering him during last Thursday's game against the Utah Jazz.

While Embiid played through the soreness last Thursday and last Saturday as the Sixers faced the Golden State Warriors, he was a late scratch on Monday in Memphis as the soreness signaled he needed a day off.

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Embiid made his return to the floor on Wednesday night as the 76ers faced the Miami Heat. Although he was questionable leading up to the matchup, Embiid was cleared for action after participating in the morning shootaround session and warmups before the game against Miami.

The star center checked into Wednesday night's game for 37 minutes. As he continued to battle through his rib soreness, Embiid suffered another physical setback to add to his list of unfortunate issues during the second half of the Sixers' loss against the Heat as he rolled his ankle.

"It was pretty painful when it happened," said Embiid after the game. "I don't know what it looked like on TV, but it was pretty painful." 

In addition to his ankle, Embiid confirmed that his rib soreness is "the same." Not any better, and not any worse. While Embiid's list of setbacks is concerning, the veteran made it clear he believes he'll be fine moving forward. 

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