SIXERS STILL CAN’T SAY WHEN JOJO EMBIID WILL PLAY AGAIN!

“His knee is getting stronger,” Sixers Brett Brown said of Joel Embiid yesterday in Houston. “His spirits are great. He sees how much he has missed. What that means in relation to his return, I don’t know. What I can say is he’s right on track in relation to getting stronger and having the knee feel better.”

By Julie Glass

Brett Brown chooses his words carefully.

He said he looked forward to going home and welcoming Embiid back into the mix and playing with his teammates. The coach said that he hopes that happens soon and mentioned tomorrow’s game against the Indiana Pacers.

“I don’t know.” he said about Jojo’s availability for the Pacers game. “I just know that it can’t come soon enough. But I truly don’t know for sure. I hope so, but I can’t say for sure.”

Embiid has been doing light contact work and strength and conditioning work as part of his rehabilitation. The team plans to increase the workload by having Embiid participate in three-on-three and four-on-four drills.

He had been dealing with knee soreness at different stages of the season. Embiid sat out the Sixers’ loss to the Trail Blazers in Portland on Dec. 30 because of the soreness.

This time, he was scheduled to be out at least a week. Brown said on Feb. 27 that he expected Embiid to return against the Golden Warriors on March 2. But the following day the coach said “we’re still learning more” when asked about the reexamination of the knee. Yet, Embiid is still sidelined.

Embiid has said he could play, if necessary.

“It’s all about long-term preservation, making sure I’m ready,” he said of his time on the bench. “Not just for the playoffs, also for the next 15 years. … We felt like it was better to preserve it, but it’s getting better.”

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