Updated: 4:20 p.m.

CAMDEN, N.J. — Joel Embiid is listed as doubtful for Friday and Saturday’s games against the Wizards and Knicks. He is staying optimistic he can be upgraded and can play for the first time since Jan. 27. 

“I hope that they’re going let me play,” Embiid said after practice on Wednesday. “I feel great. I want to play. If it was my decision, I’d be playing.”

Embiid has been sidelined with a left knee contusion. He also has a small tear in his meniscus that is thought to be unrelated to the injury. 

On Wednesday, the big man went through all of practice, which was not intense. The Sixers will monitor his knee for swelling on Thursday and leading up to Friday’s game. 

“I want to play, but those guys, they know what they’re doing,” Embiid said. “You’ve just got to trust the process.” 

Brown noted Embiid “looked fluid” and “moved well” in the team's first practice back from the All-Star break. He also knows how badly Embiid would like to be cleared to play. 

“He’s competitive,” Brown said. “He’s at times — and I say this respectfully — he’s a maverick, he’s defiant sometimes. Great players have that quality. He’s compliant and he understands big picture stuff, but he doesn’t take that type of news well at all. We should all hear that with an element of, ‘that’s good.’ That’s how he’s wired.” 

 

Embiid worked out during All-Star weekend in New Orleans but spent most of his time there involved in the events. He participated in the activities related to the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge (he was selected but did not play), attended the contests, made his rounds with the media, and even snapped a photo with Michael Jordan. 

He quenched his thirst for competition after practice on Wednesday with a very spirited game of 1-on-1 against Dario Saric. There was no shortage of trash talking from Embiid. 

“I would love to play against him all the time because that gives me a lot of confidence beating him everyday,” Embiid said.