Joel Embiid is expected to return to the 76ers lineup against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday, according to coach Doc Rivers.
Embiid did not make the Sixers’ road trip to Memphis and Oklahoma City. The game against the Thunder was postponed due to COVID-19 contact tracing.
The All-Star center missed Saturday’s 106-104 loss at Memphis because of right knee pain. He returned to practice on Tuesday.
“I do expect him to go” against Boston, Rivers said after practice. “He was in and out of practice today. We didn’t let him do a lot of stuff, but he looked pretty good.”
The Sixers will host Boston (8-4) on both Wednesday and Friday.
Embiid is averaging 25 points and 11.5 rebounds. He has missed three games this season, the other two because of back tightness. The Sixers (9-5) are 0-3 in the games that Embiid has missed. Embiid was not listed on the NBA’s late-afternoon injury report for Wednesday’s game.
Seth Curry, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Jan. 7, did not practice on Tuesday. A team spokesman told The Inquirer that Curry is finishing up his final stage of health and safety protocols.
Like Embiid, Curry was not listed on the NBA injury report. Only two Sixers are on it and both are out: Mike Scott (knee) and Vincent Poirier (health and safety protocols).
No Tatum for Celtics
During Tuesday’s Zoom call with reporters, Celtics coach Brad Stevens said that All-Star forward Jayson Tatum would not travel to Philadelphia for Wednesday’s game. Tatum has missed the last two games due to health and safety protocols.
Stevens would not rule out Tatum traveling to the game on Friday. Tatum is averaging 26.9 points and shooting 43.8% from three-point range.
Romeo Langford (right wrist surgery) and Carsen Edwards (health and safety protocols) are also listed as out for Wednesday’s game.
Korkmaz eager to return
Key reserve Furkan Korkmaz was ready to return Sunday after missing 11 games with a left groin strain. Now his return will be Wednesday.
“It’s really good, super good, like finally I am going to be back on the court, playing with the team again,” Korkmaz said after practice.
Korkmaz is averaging 6.0 points and 18.3 minutes in three games this season.