Nick Nurse gives updates on Joel Embiid, other progressing Sixers

PHILADELPHIA — At this stage of the 2023-24 season for the Philadelphia 76ers, all eyes are on what comes next for Joel Embiid. The big fella has not played since Jan. 30 when he injured his left knee and then underwent a procedure for a meniscus issue back on Feb. 6.

With only nine games left in the regular season after the Sixers face the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night, one has to wonder about the status of the big fella as the Sixers move forward.

“I haven’t met with him,” coach Nick Nurse said before the contest with the Clippers. “I have talked with him. FaceTimed with him a couple times, but I haven’t met with him yet. No. He’s on the court as you guys know and we still don’t have a timeline for his return.”

Nurse and the Sixers have continued to say that he is on the court as he continues his rehab. Philadelphia will now be looking to get Embiid moving forward to the next level of his recovery which would be moving him toward a return.

“I would imagine he’s getting better each day,” Nurse continued. “So he’s just trying to get him strong and confident and in shape and ramped up and all those wonderful words.”

When asked specifically of what kind of work Embiid is doing, Nurse didn’t specify. He kept it to the fact that he was out there working.

“He’s out there working, right?” he said succinctly. “He’s out there working. He’s doing lots of skill work and things like that and just trying to continue to advance all that stuff.

He’s on the court so we’ll let you know when we get to those stages.”

Again, the question becomes whether Embiid will return before the season ends. The Sixers are currently the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference which would require them to play a play-in game against the No. 7 seed. If Embiid can return before the season ends, there is a hope that he could lift them out of the play-in and into the No. 6 seed.

“I think there’s a very good likelihood that he will return before the play-in, playoff,” stated Nurse. “Yeah.”

Then, there’s the status of Robert Covington and De’Anthony Melton. Covington has not played since Dec. 30 due to a left knee bone bruise and Melton hasn’t played since Feb. 27 due to lumbar spine bone stress.

“Cov is progressing a little bit,” said Nurse. “It looks like he could make a return here at some point. Again, we’re not sure. It’s, again, all these things are very similar. They put in a lot of work one day and you gotta wait to see how it responds and see when they get to go again, but he’s making some progress.”

As for Melton, it is not as clear.

“Melt is probably not as close yet,” he finished. “He’s still kind of on a pain tolerance thing, but again, we’re kind of hopeful that both of them will be back before this regular season ends. Yeah.”

Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire