NBA Rumors: Joel Embiid 'on track' to return in early-April before the playoffs?

Despite the Philadelphia 76ers' recent struggles, Joel Embiid is still 'on track' to return in April.

Denver Nuggets v Philadelphia 76ers
Denver Nuggets v Philadelphia 76ers / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

NBA Rumors: With the Philadelphia 76ers quickly dropping in the Eastern Conference standings, Joel Embiid is still expected to return at some point in early April.

For the Philadelphia 76ers, their entire season has been nuked by the injury to Joel Embiid. It's been a tale of two seasons for the Sixers. There's the portion of the season with Embiid healthy and in the lineup and then the section of the year in which Embiid hasn't been healthy and out of the lineup. As you would expect, the Sixers are two very different teams when Embiid is available vs. when he isn't.

With Embiid, the Sixers are 26-8. Without him, the Sixers are just 10-22. Unfortunately for the Sixers, Embiid has missed all of February and the first two weeks of March. The expectation is that he's likely to miss at least another two weeks before his return.

According to a recent report, the Sixers are still hoping that Embiid can return at some point in early April - or, before the start of the NBA Playoffs. This comes on the heel of another report that suggested Embiid wasn't close to returning to action.

Joel Embiid's status to return is still very much up in the air

If there's anything we know for certainty, it's that we simply don't know what's going to happen over the next few weeks on the Embiid front. And I don't think that's a bad idea if that's what ends up happening.

It wouldn't be the worst idea for the Sixers to play the wait-and-see game when it comes to Embiid's possible return. The Sixers have understandably struggled mightily without Embiid in the lineup. However, are we supposed to believe that Embiid is going to be able to be inserted back into the lineup without any hiccups?

It's not just that Embiid is going to return late in the season, it's that there's a very real chance that he ends up returning right at the start of the playoffs. That's an incredibly difficult ask for any player, even for Embiid. Especially considering how big of a role he plays in the team's overall success.

The Sixers won't just need Embiid to return for it to matter. No, they'll need Embiid to return to MVP form when he comes back for the Sixers to have any shot to make noise in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

I still don't believe it's a foregone conclusion that Embiid comes back this season. At the same time, the team is hoping he can. And the team's hope hasn't changed.

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