Joel Embiid injury update: 76ers star expected back in lineup Saturday vs. Timberwolves, per report

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Joel Embiid is expected to return to the lineup for the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday against the Minnesota Timberwolves, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania. Embiid has missed Philadelphia’s last nine games with a bone bruise in his knee suffered earlier in March. Embiid has missed 16 games so far, 17 if you include Thursday’s upcoming matchup with the Cleveland Cavaliers that he is expected to be sidelined for as well. 

Philadelphia has managed to maintain its position atop the Eastern Conference standings even without Embiid. They are now 6-3 since Embiid got hurt thanks to Ben Simmons and their depth, and entering Thursday, remained tied with the Brooklyn Nets for the No. 1 seed in the East. Brooklyn is expected to get Kevin Durant back from injury soon, though, so both sides will improve for the stretch run. 

Embiid had been the MVP front-runner when he went down. Now, he has been surpassed by players like Nikola Jokic and James Harden at most sportsbooks. He will miss, at a bare minimum, 23.6 percent of the season due to injury. In the simplest of terms, that means voters would expect him to be 23.6 percent better than the field in order to gain their vote. That sounds like a stretch. 

But Philadelphia is playing for the championship, not individual accolades. Getting Embiid back healthy in time for the rest of the regular and postseason is all that matters. Given his injury history, that was no given when he went down. Now? The 76ers will have their entire team back together when it counts.

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