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Embiid (knee) still hopes to play this season

Joel Embiid Philadelphia 76ers Joel Embiid - The Canadian Press

Philadelphia 76ers superstar Joel Embiid says he still hopes to return this season.

Embiid, 29, has dealt with a knee injury all season and has not played since January 30, choosing to undergo a procedure on the knee. Upon the operation, the team said he would be re-evaluated four weeks into his recovery.

"That's the plan," Embiid said when asked of a possible return this season. "Obviously, everything has to go right as far as getting healthy or being as close as I'm supposed to be."

The 2023 NBA Most Valuable Player, Embiid did not offer a timeline for a potential return.

"There's really no timeline," Embiid said. "It all depends on - you can never tell how the body reacts, especially once you start ramping up - how it feels and if it feels good, then that's good. If it doesn't feel like it's right, then you gotta keep going."

Asked why he would even attempt a comeback rather than resting up for next season, the Kansas product said he wants to get back as quickly as possible.

"I just love playing basketball," Embiid said. "I just want to be on the floor as much as possible. All you have is about 20 years to do this, so any chance that I get, I want to be on the floor. So it doesn't matter where we are [in the standings] - four, five, three, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11 - it doesn't really matter where we are. I just want to play as much as I can and try to help us."

Embiid also said that the injury did not affect his desire to suit up for Team USA at the upcoming Summer Olympics in Paris.

"It's the same mindset," Embiid said. "If it doesn't feel right, then you gotta make those tough decisions. But the plan is [still] the plan. Like I said, I don't know how long it's going to take. If it takes longer than what the [original] timeline is, as far as the games and playoffs we have remaining, you gotta make those decisions. But it's all about how I feel."

The Sixers have gone 4-8 since Embiid's procedure. The team sits 33-25 and in sixth in the Eastern Conference, even with the fifth-place Miami Heat and the seventh-place Indiana Pacers.

The team returns to action on Friday at home to the Charlotte Hornets.