AVALON, N.J. - Joel Embiid gave a good prognosis on his health but said the 76ers will likely be cautious upon his return.
Embiid, the No. 3 overall choice in the 2014 NBA draft who hasn't played his first two seasons because of two foot surgeries, and rookie Ben Simmons drew a huge crowd at the Sixers' annual Beach Bash on Saturday afternoon at Jack's Place.
Also in attendance was the Sixers' second first-round pick, Timothe Lewawu-Cabarrot.
In June 2014, the 7-foot-2 Embiid underwent surgery to repair a stress fracture in the navicular bone in his right foot. Last August, he had bone-graft surgery to repair the same bone.
"I feel 100 percent and ready to get started. My summer has been great," said Embiid, who was making his first public remarks to Philadelphia reporters since media day in training camp 2014. "We have been working on a lot this summer, and I got a chance to play a little bit against the guys, and it has been going great."
Despite his optimism, Embiid said there will likely be some restrictions on him as he begins training camp next month.
"Yes . . . I think the decision will probably be about that I haven't played in two years," the center said. "It won't be because people are worried that I am going to reinjure myself, which I don't think is going to happen, but it will be about the fact I haven't played in two years and take it slow."
Embiid last played in a game on March 1, 2014, during his freshman season at Kansas. He had 13 points and 13 rebounds in 29 minutes during a 72-65 loss at Oklahoma State.
Embiid understands that coming back will be a gradual process.
"I think they are going to start me slow, but I am the type of guy, I learn fast," he said. "... I haven't played in two years but once I get it, I will be pretty good."
He admitted the last two years have been difficult.
"It feels great [to be coming back], especially after the past two years. I haven't been able to do what I love," Embiid said.
He also is happy where his game is.
"The last Sixers [scrimmage] we had two weeks ago showed it," he said. "I was pretty happy."
Simmons and Embiid both attended Montverde Academy in Florida, and while they were never teammates, they have been friends since Simmons began attending the school in January 2013.
"It is good coming into a team I already know somebody and am close with," Simmons said. "He is teaching me a few things and I am looking forward to playing with him."
Simmons, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2016 NBA draft from LSU, said he just returned from his native Australia, where he was working with a trainer. He believes his time in the summer league here in the States was beneficial.
During his two games in Utah, he averaged 8.0 points, 7. 5 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 1.0 turnovers in 26 minutes per game.
In four games in Las Vegas, he averaged 12.3 points, 7.8 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 5.3 turnovers in 30.3 minutes.
"It was good," Simmons said. "I feel like I grew and learned a lot, and overall, I think I did well."
Now he is looking forward to his first NBA training camp, as is Embiid, at least his first in which he won't be a spectator.
"It's been really tough, and the main thing is I haven't gotten the chance to get on the court and help my teammates or play in front of the Sixers fans, and I am looking forward to it," Embiid said. "I can't wait."