Joel Embiid 76ers pic 1

The 76ers 'hope' Joel Embiid can return by the end of March

Last season, Joel Embiid dominated the NBA and won his first league MVP. The former first-round pick was off to a hot start in 2023-24. However, nagging injuries took their toll, and the seven-time all-star has been out since January 30th. On February 6th, Embiid had surgery on his knee to repair his lateral meniscus. 

The Sixers said Embiid would be re-evaluated in about four weeks. If that stays true, Philly could give an injury timeline for how much longer the reigning MVP will be out. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the 76ers have “hope” that Embiid can return by the end of March or early April. Philadelphia desperately needs their MVP big man back on the court to help the team win.

Can the Sixers hold on for another month or longer without Joel Embiid?

Before his injury on January 30th, Embiid had played and started 34 games for the 76ers. The 29-year-old was on pace to have another MVP season if he stayed healthy. Embiid was averaging (35.3) points, (11.3) rebounds, (5.7) assists, (1.1) steals, and (1.8) blocks per game. This is the first season where end-of-the-year awards require players to appear in at least 65 games. With all the times he’s missed in 2023-24, Embiid will not be eligible for MVP this season.

At this point, the Sixers need Embiid back as soon as he can return. They’re struggling without their All-NBA center. In his 34 games this season, the 76ers are 26-8. Without Embiid, they are just 7-17. Head coach Nick Nurse has done what he can to survive while Embiid is out. However, the Sixers are noticeably different when Embiid doesn’t play. If all goes well, he could return by the end of March for their last 8-10 games of the season.

For roughly the next 15 games, the 76ers will be without Joel Emiid. Out of 30 teams in the league, the Sixers have the 22nd hardest remaining schedule. Their all-star guard Tyrese Maxey does what he can each night to get the team a win. Maxey isn’t ready to be the face of the franchise just yet and he still needs the help of Philly’s other stars. Tobias Harris, Paul Reed, and Buddy Hield all give solid production. The Sixers’ next game is Friday, March 1 vs. the Charlotte Hornets.

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