‘Good likelihood’ Joel Embiid will be back before start of playoffs, Sixers coach Nick Nurse says

Philadelphia 76ers coach Nick Nurse said Wednesday that there is a “good likelihood” that reigning NBA MVP Joel Embiid will be back on the court before the postseason.

“I think there’s a very good likelihood that he will return before the playoffs,” Nurse said before the Sixers took on the Los Angeles Clippers.

Embiid, who has averaged 35.3 points and 11.5 rebounds this season, has missed 27 games after suffering a meniscus injury on Jan. 30 at Golden State that required surgery on Feb. 6. The Sixers were 10-16 in the games since Embiid’s injury heading into Wednesday.

The club had confirmed two weeks ago that Embiid started on-court work, but has been cryptic about the extent of work he has been doing.

“He’s on the court, as you guys know, but we still don’t have a timeline,” Nurse said, noting that he has had FaceTime calls with his star center but not seen him in person because of Philadelphia’s four-game West Coast trip. “I would imagine that he’s getting better each day. He’s trying to get strong, confident, in shape and ramped up.”

When asked what on-court activities Embiid was doing and if it involved scrimmages against the Sixers’ G-League team, Nurse said only that Embiid was “on the court” and “we’ll let you know when we get there” with a possible return date.

Philadelphia has nine games remaining in the regular season after Wednesday. The 76ers are currently in eighth place in the Eastern Conference race.

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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