76ers star Joel Embiid 'feeling a lot better,' still no timetable for his return

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Joel Embiid’s concussion and orbital fracture are improving, but Doc Rivers isn’t quite ready to provide any specific timetable for his return for the Philadelphia 76ers.

Rivers, speaking ahead of their practice on Tuesday afternoon, said he wasn’t sure when Embiid will be able to return in their Eastern Conference semifinals series against the Miami Heat.

“I know he did something yesterday, but not much, and I know he’s feeling a lot better,” Rivers said.

“I don’t want to give false hope, either. So I’ll just stop there.”

While that’s nothing concrete by any means, Embiid’s improvement is certainly a good sign for the 76ers.

Embiid went down with a right orbital fracture and a mild concussion in Philadelphia’s Game 6 of their series against the Toronto Raptors last week. Embiid took a hard elbow to the face in the final minutes of that win in Toronto, which pushed them into the conference semifinals.

The team didn’t provide any timetable for his return, but they were reportedly hopeful that he can be back for either Game 3 or 4.

Embiid’s absence clearly hurt Philadelphia on Monday night, too. The 76ers fell to the Heat 106-92 at FTX Arena in what was a dominant showing for Miami. Rivers attempted to replace Embiid with Deandre Jordan in the starting lineup, along with Paul Millsap and Paul Reed rotating through, though it didn’t work out very well. The three combined for just eight points, 12 rebounds and three blocks on the night.

Despite their struggles, Rivers is committed to Jordan in the starting lineup for Embiid.

“We are going to keep starting him whether you like it or not, because our guys believe in him,” he said after the loss.

Based on Game 1, the sooner Embiid is back, the better.

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid
Joel Embiid is 'feeling a lot better,' but Doc Rivers isn't ready to give a timetable for his return just yet. (Steve Russell/Toronto Star/Getty Images)
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