76ers' Joel Embiid Says He's 'Not Even Close' to 100% After Return From COVID-19

Doric SamDecember 7, 2021

Charlotte Hornets forward P.J. Washington knocks the ball away from Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Monday, Dec. 6, 2021, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
AP Photo/Chris Carlson

Philadelphia 76ers star center Joel Embiid had a dominant performance in Monday's win over the Charlotte Hornets. Despite a 43-point, 15-rebound performance, Embiid says he still doesn't feel like himself after his bout with COVID-19.

"I’m not even close," Embiid responded to when asked if he felt like he was back to 100-percent, per Serena Winters. "I’m still feeling it. I get tired easily, feel pretty weak, but every single day slowly getting better, but I’ve just got to keep pushing myself."

Monday's performance was an efficient one for Embiid. He shot 15-of-20 from the field and 12-of-14 from the free throw line. He scored six of the Sixers' eight points in overtime. The big man also dished out seven assists as Philadelphia improved to 13-11.

"It’s what I have to do,” Embiid said after the game. “Coaches trust me to put me in those situations. Sometimes I make mistakes, but I feel like I’m getting better and better in those situations. I just made the right plays and made some shots."

Embiid was forced to miss nine games while he recovered from his COVID-19 diagnosis. Philadelphia went 2-7 in his absence, including a five-game losing streak. He returned Nov. 27 against the Minnesota Timberwolves, recording 42 points and 14 rebounds in an overtime loss.

In five games since returning to the Sixers lineup, Embiid is averaging 28.4 points and 14.4 rebounds. He's scored less than 20 points twice, but scored over 40 twice as well. He's grabbed double-digit rebounds in each game. Since his return, the Sixers have gone 3-2.

The Sixers will face the Hornets again on Wednesday in Charlotte. Philadelphia will be going for its third straight win.