Philadelphia 76ers superstar center Joel Embiid was sidelined for nine games after testing positive for COVID-19 in early November.
After missing three weeks of action, the All-Star center returned to the court on Nov. 27, sharing a scary account of what he dealt with while battling COVID-19.
“That jawn hit me hard,” Embiid said after the game. “I mean, I really thought I wasn’t going to make it. It was that bad, so I’m just thankful to be sitting here.”
He continued, adding that “I struggled with it but I’m just glad that I got over it and I’m just here doing what I love with some good people.”
Despite the time missed, Embiid was back to his All-Star form in his return, going off for 42 points and 14 rebounds in an overtime loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. In the past month, the Sixers have been forced to deal with a number of absences due to the league’s health and safety protocols, with Tobias Harris, Isaiah Joe and Matisse Thybulle also missing multiple games, while All-Star guard Ben Simmons remains away from the team for personal reasons.
As reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania, a number of positive tests came from within the Sixers organization as the team was slated to begin receiving booster shots for COVID-19.
In Embiid’s extended absence, the Sixers posted a 2-7 record after an 8-2 start to the season. The four-time All-Star will look to get the team back on track after leading them to the East’s best record in 2020-21, a feat that resulted in a second-place MVP finish.
Embiid is averaging 23.5 points and 10.0 rebounds through his first 10 games this season.
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