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Sixers’ Joel Embiid expresses disappointment in timing of his injury

CAMDEN, N.J. — Philadelphia 76ers superstar big man Joel Embiid was in the midst of another incredible season. The big fella began the season averaging 35.3 points, 11.3 rebounds, and 5.7 assists. He was dominant in every facet of the game and was on his way to another MVP award.

Then, things changed on Jan. 29 when he suffered a knee injury in a road loss to the Golden State Warriors. The big fella was already dealing with an injury to the knee leading into the game, but the reigning league MVP wanted to be out there for his team.

The injury was revealed to be a meniscus injury and he had to undergo surgery on Feb. 6 to repair the issue.

“My mindset is playing basketball — playing as much as I can,” said Embiid on Thursday. “For really two months, I was not at 100%. I was not even close to it. I just felt the need of always giving my all to the team. I just wanted to win, because I know I can add that to this basketball team. So there’s nothing different I would’ve done. Like I always say, everything happens for a reason. The way I looked at it is it’s very depressing, but the way I also looked at it is that’s another way to work on myself, on my body, and just get as healthy as possible.”

He has now missed 24 games on the season taking him out of the running to win any awards at the end of the season and the All-NBA Team.

“I don’t care about the awards,” Embiid said. “Obviously, they’re nice. One thing that I always say is if you have the chance to go for it, you’ve got to go for it. The same people that are complaining about it, they wish they had a chance to be in that same position–but it’s not over yet. The goal is always about winning. So if those stats didn’t bring up a lot of wins, then it wouldn’t matter.”

The Sixers are sitting at 33-25 on the season and the No. 6 seed in the East. They are currently 7-17 without Embiid on the floor and they have to find ways to stay afloat without the reigning league MVP. He will eventually return, likely at the end of March. Philadelphia was rolling with Embiid leading the way and that’s what he’s focused on more at the moment.

“That’s why it’s also extremely disappointing, when you start talking about basketball, because I felt like I was on a roll and I wasn’t even close to where I wanted to be, body-wise and basketball-wise,” Embiid added. “I wasn’t at my best, so I felt like there was still another level that I could go to. It was very disappointing. I was having fun — playing, getting a lot of wins, dominating.”

The Sixers are a robust 26-8 when Embiid does play. He was on another level. He was fantastic. He scored 70 points on Jan. 22. All of it is just very disappointing when thinking of what could be at the moment.

“The 70-point game was fun,” Embiid added. “When I came into the league, I thought I was going to try to be a defensive player or something, so I never thought that I could be in a position to score 70 in a basketball game, with the dominance that I was doing. It was fun, but it’s not over. The mindset, like I said, is to come back if everything is well and go from there.”

Story originally appeared on Sixers Wire