Latest Joel Embiid injury update adds optimism to rampant uncertainty

While it looked like Joel Embiid might be out for the rest of the regular season, an NBA insider has said that he might be able to come back before the playoffs

Minnesota Timberwolves v Philadelphia 76ers
Minnesota Timberwolves v Philadelphia 76ers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

As the Philadelphia 76ers try to keep themselves out of the Play-In Tournament without Joel Embiid on the floor due to an injury, the star could be returning earlier than previously thought.

While appearing on ESPN's NBA Today, Ramona Shelburne reported, there is "optimism in Philadelphia that Joel Embiid can return at some point during the regular season." The idea is that the franchise could get him back with time for the superstar to get back into "rhythm heading into the playoffs."

As Philadelphia waits for their All-NBA center to get healthy, the franchise has been sliding in the standings and has been in danger of losing a top-six seed with the Sixers only being 3.5 games ahead of the Miami Heat. The 76ers have gone just 2-4 since losing Embiid to a meniscus injury in his left knee that has caused him to miss out on a chance to win back-to-back NBA MVP honors.

As the Play-In Tournament starts to become a part of the possible conversation for the Sixers, the team is free-falling.

Are the Sixers doomed to fall until Joel Embiid comes back?

With the second half of the season starting to unwind from the All-Star break, the Sixers are fading their half-game difference between the New York Knicks for first-round home-court advantage in the playoffs. Additionally, the Indiana Pacers are catching up and forcing them to have the Miami Heat screaming down their neck.

Philly is hitting the danger zone with Embiid as they try to avoid another early postseason exit and will probably need the star to come back sooner rather than later if they want to make a good case for him not requesting a trade this offseason. The Sixers are heading towards possibly losing in the Play-In Tournament which will naturally cause rumors to fly about Embiid leaving the franchise even if the star wears a shirt that says I Love Philly on it every day.

The Sixers are likely not good enough to be competitive in a playoff series, especially if the franchise has to play a top team in the first round. Having Embiid return early would be helpful for the squad to have a good chance to avoid that fate and be the No. 4 or 5 seed.

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