Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid is set to play on Friday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves, despite his recent minor setback.
Embiid has been dealing with back tightness for the last month or so. Dating back to the third game of the season, the Sixers ruled the big man out less than an hour before tip-off as he felt stiffness in his back during pregame warmups.
Since then, Embiid has missed a few games due to back tightness and swelling in the knee. His most recent absence came on Monday night as the 76ers matched up with the Detroit Pistons for the second time in three nights.
Without Embiid on the floor, the Sixers lost 119-104, making it the fourth game this season they lost without their All-Star center.
Fortunately, the big man returned to the court on Wednesday night to face the Los Angeles Lakers. As the Sixers kept Embiid off the injury report on Tuesday night, it was clear the big man was getting a green light to play without a minutes restriction against LA despite missing the previous game.
However, Embiid did get hurt during the third quarter of the matchup on Wednesday night. As he attempted a dunk over LeBron James, the Lakers star gave Embiid a bit of a shove while he was in mid-air, forcing the center to crash hard on his back. Embiid managed to finish the matchup but made it clear he was in pain after the game.
On Thursday night, the 76ers listed Embiid as questionable for Friday night's matchup against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The big man traveled with the team to Minnesota and even participated in the pregame shootaround. Although the back tightness has been reoccurring for him, Embiid and the Sixers decided he's good to go on Friday.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_