Nurse: Doctor happy with Embiid's progress from left knee injury

Nurse: Doctor happy with Embiid's progress from left knee injury originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Sixers head coach Nick Nurse recognizes that any detail about Joel Embiid’s rehab from a left lateral meniscus injury will attract attention.

“I think it’s tricky,” Nurse said Saturday night before the Sixers’ matchup vs. the Hornets. “I think there’s always stages of how these things progress. Everybody wants to know, ‘Well, how long is it going to be?’ And they give a pretty wide range of that because everybody heals differently. There’s things that go smoothly, there’s things that set back … there’s all kinds of stuff like that.

“So I think we’re just trying to take it as it comes, get him healthy — get him really healthy — and get him back when he’s ready to go.”

On Embiid’s 30th birthday, Nurse did provide a couple of specifics on his star big man.

“He did see the doctor last week,” Nurse said. “They’re happy with the progress. The whispers of him being on court I believe are true, but I haven’t seen any of it. We’ve been gone for a long time — just got back yesterday — and I haven’t seen him.”

Heading into their meeting with Charlotte, the Sixers had a 7-13 record since Embiid’s injury. According to Cleaning the Glass, they ranked 24th in offensive rating and 25th in defensive rating over that span.

Embiid said on Feb. 29 that he plans to come back this season. The Sixers’ regular-season finale is April 14 against the Nets.

“I’m still hoping so and still pretty confident in that, yep,” Nurse said.

In addition to Embiid, De’Anthony Melton (lumbar spine bone stress) and Robert Covington (left knee bone bruise) have been out with long-term injuries. A Sixers official said on March 6 that Covington was progressing in his rehab program with the goal of beginning on-court activities over the next 7-10 days. Melton has been on an "offloading program" and was set to be re-evaluated in approximately two weeks, the official said.

Tobias Harris was also sidelined Saturday night after spraining his right ankle late in the fourth quarter of the Sixers’ loss to the Bucks.

Nurse started Nicolas Batum in Harris’ place alongside Kyle Lowry, Tyrese Maxey, Kelly Oubre Jr. and Mo Bamba. He said the Sixers would “certainly have to use KJ (Martin) at the four as well.”