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Report: ‘Optimism’ around Sixers’ Joel Embiid returning Saturday against the Timberwolves

The big fella is likely to end his prolonged absence this weekend or early next week.

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Chicago Bulls Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

According to a report from The Athletic’s Shams Charania, “there’s optimism” that Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid could end his three-week, nine-game absence with a Saturday return against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Due to health and safety protocols, Embiid has not played since Nov. 6 and is slated to miss the entirety of Philadelphia’s six-game road trip. As of Wednesday’s 2:30 p.m. EST injury report, the big fella is listed as “out” while still in health and safety protocols.

Charania tweeted that “Embiid has been ramping up this week” and if he does not play Saturday, “ the second game of home stand (Monday vs. Orlando) is possible.”

Wednesday’s news marks the second update in three days after a quiet two weeks on that front.

Prior to Monday’s contest with the Sacramento Kings, head coach Doc Rivers said Embiid was working out at the team’s practice facility in Camden, New Jersey, and had passed one negative COVID test, per The Athletic’s Rich Hofmann.