Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid Shares Shocking News On Injury

Joel Embiid, 76ers, NBA
Apr 2, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) walks off the court after win against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers picked up a huge victory on Wednesday night over the Oklahoma City Thunder, moving one step closer to getting out of the NBA Play-In Tournament. But, even more important than the outcome of the game was the fact that the 76ers got their star back in the lineup.

Reigning NBA MVP Joel Embiid returned to the court on Wednesday for the first time since January 30th because of a knee injury. He missed 29 consecutive games because of the injury, during which the 76ers struggled to remain afloat.

With Embiid in the lineup, Philadelphia has gone 27-8. Without him, they have struggled mightily, going 14-27. While the 76ers were having their issues on the court, Embiid revealed that he was battling his own issues off of it.

Injuries aren’t anything new to Embiid, who has been sidelined for a ton of time throughout his NBA career. However, this time around, he shared after Wednesday’s game that this most recent injury took a major toll on him mentally, as he battled depression.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Joel Embiid & Philadelphia 76ers Updates

“It was not a good ride,” Embiid said after the win. “I will tell you that. Usually, when I have injuries, I just tell myself move on, on to the next one, get better, and fix it, but this one took a toll mentally with being depressed and it was not a good one. So, 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 gonna take it.”

Mental health has become more and more important in recent years. There are plenty of people who believe that players in the NBA don’t have to battle with such things as they seemingly have everything you would want in life.

But, at the end of the day, professional athletes are human just like anyone else. They have their good days and their bad days. During this most recent rehab process, Embiid had plenty of bad days and wasn’t even sure what was the root of the issue.

“I don’t know,” Embiid added when asked what the reason for his depression was. “For some reason, this injury was just—I don’t know. It was disappointing. It was depressing. It took me a while to get over it and I still haven’t gotten over it. So just gotta take it day by day. Look at the positives. I’m back. So hopefully every single day try to get better and get back to myself.”

Getting injured and having to rehab could be a lonely process. Embiid wasn’t around his teammates as often as he would be if he were healthy and participating in practice. He has not been shy about sharing his love of the game of basketball and having that taken away from him is a lot to deal with.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Joel Embiid & Philadelphia 76ers Updates

Despite those challenges, he did have one thing to rely on to help him get through it; family. Embiid said that the people most important to him in life helped him get through his dark time.

“Family,” he stated. “Just looking at their faces. My wife and young Arthur. Waking up every single day and taking him to school, picking him up, playing with him all day. That kind of takes your mind away from everything that’s going on and then, obviously, watching the games at night, you got pissed off because you felt like you could help and could do something, but it’s all about family.”

With his first game now out of the way, hopefully, Embiid can continue climbing out of the funk that he has been in. Being on the court will certainly help, as the 76ers will now look to make a push out of the NBA Play-In Tournament and into a top-six spot in the Eastern Conference.

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