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Joel Embiid says his absence was ‘depressing’ and ‘by far’ his hardest injury to overcome mentally

Joel Embiid returned to the Philadelphia 76ers’ lineup on Tuesday, eight weeks after having surgery to address an injury to the lateral meniscus in his left knee. Late in the fourth quarter, he stole the ball from Oklahoma City Thunder guard Josh Giddey on the perimeter, then went coast to coast, drew a foul on the fast break and made the two ensuing free throws. He finished with 24 points on 6-for-14 shooting, six rebounds, seven assists, three steals (and six turnovers) in 29 minutes, and he made all 12 of his free-throw attempts in the 109-105 win.

It was a successful return, but it was not seamless. Asked how he felt in a walkoff interview on TNT, Embiid told Jared Greenberg, “Not good. But I’m glad we got through it and we got the win.”

Embiid then told Greenberg that “a lot” went into getting him back on the court. “It took a toll mentally,” he said. “I just wanted to come back. I think we got a chance, even at the level that I’m at. And I’m only going to get better. But this one was probably the hardest, by far, especially mentally.”

In a scrum at his locker, Embiid elaborated.

“It was not a good one,” he said, via The Rights to Ricky Sanchez’s Dan Olinger. “Usually, when I have injuries, I just tell myself move on, onto the next one, get better and then fix it. But this one, it took a toll mentally. Being depressed. And it was not a good one. Still not where I’m supposed to be, especially mentally, but I just love to play. I love basketball and I want to play, and, any chance that I can be out there, I’m going to take it.”

Embiid described the injury as both “disappointing” and “depressing.”

“It took me a while to get over, and I still haven’t gotten over it,” he said. “So I just gotta take it day by day, look at the positive: I’m back. So, hopefully, every single day, try to get better and get back to myself.”

When a reporter said it looked like Embiid was moving well, the reigning Most Valuable Player said, “You think so? I don’t think so. I thought I was pretty bad.” When a reporter said it looked like he’d lost some…


Source link : https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/joel-embiid-says-his-absence-was-depressing-and-by-far-his-hardest-injury-to-overcome-mentally/

Author : James Herbert

Publish date : 2024-04-03 15:51:36

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