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Joel Embiid out for Sixers against Warriors Saturday, expects to return next week

Philadelphia 76ers v Boston Celtics

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - DECEMBER 25: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks down while on the bench during the third quarter of the game against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on December 25, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)

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Joel Embiid played 21 minutes in the All-Star Game Feb. 17.

He has yet to play a minute since — and that includes sitting out Saturday night in a nationally televised game against the Warriors (Jonah Bolden will get the start). Philly has gone 3-1 without Embiid, but with both him and Boban Marjanovic (sprained knee) sidelined, coach Brett Brown has had to resort to unconventional and smaller lineups. This is not the Sixers rotation we will see in the playoffs, and with the in-season additions of Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris, this is a roster that needs time on the court together to gel.

That should start to happen next week when Embiid said he will be back. From Serena Winters of NBC Sports Philadelphia.

But he pushed through it at the All-Star Game, something that is raising a lot of eyebrows now. To be fair, the All-Star game is not exactly stressful minutes, nobody is playing all out or defending much, but it’s still running up and down the court on an apparently sore knee.

Any time the words “Embiid” and “injury” are in the same sentence there should be concern, but what the Sixers are doing here is the prudent course of action. The playoffs, the long term does matter more. But the fact he’s needed this much time off after the All-Star break is concerning.

The Warriors will be without Klay Thompson Saturday night, and he is their go-to perimeter defender. The size in the lineup for the Sixers — 6'10" Ben Simmons, 6'10" Tobias Harris, 6'8" Jimmy Butler — still makes Philly a tough matchup for Golden State. We’ll see how serious the Warriors decide to take this regular season game, that is always a crap shoot.