Skip to main content

Joel Embiid's start to the 2021-2022 season has been full of challenging obstacles. During the first game of the Sixers' season, Embiid injured his knee, causing him to be questionable leading up to games for the next couple of weeks.

Although Embiid played in nine out of the Sixers' first ten games of the season, missing one game due to rest, Philadelphia's All-Star center dealt with a massive setback as he found out he was one of four players on the team to test positive for COVID-19.

November 8 was the date Embiid was entered into the NBA's health and safety protocol. As the Sixers just wrapped up a six-game road trip on November 24, Embiid still has yet to make his return.

For the last nine games, Embiid has been inactive and away from the team. To no surprise, the Sixers have struggled mightily during Embiid's time off of the floor. At the start of his absence, the Sixers went on a five-game losing streak. 

Read More

Although the losing streak snapped in Denver, the Sixers dropped another game in Portland two nights later. They picked up their second win in eight matchups when they faced the Kings, but they closed out the long road trip with a tough loss against Golden State. In total, the Sixers have gone 2-7 without Embiid around.

After getting the last couple of days off, the Sixers are slated to return to the court on Saturday night to face the Minnesota Timberwolves. While Embiid's not guaranteed to make his return to the floor, he's trending in the right direction.

Earlier this week, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Embiid's return would come Saturday, at the earliest, depending on how he's feeling. Then, on Friday night's injury report, the Sixers listed Embiid as questionable for the matchup. 

Ultimately, his status will likely come down to how he's feeling after going through pregame warmups. Although Embiid's been ramping up action at the team's practice facility this week, he's missed several weeks worth of games, which is a notable amount of time to be off the court. Whenever Embiid does return to the court, the Sixers' All-Star will likely be eased back in as the team will probably want to monitor his minutes at first.

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