On Tuesday evening, it was announced by NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN that Philadelphia 76ers star big man and reigning league MVP Joel Embiid would be returning to the lineup for that night's game at home vs the Oklahoma City Thunder. Embiid had been out of the lineup since late January as the result of a meniscus injury and the 76ers have predictably faltered a bit in the Eastern Conference standings as a result, although the team still has a legitimate chance to secure a top six seed in the playoffs, meaning they would be able to skip the dreaded Play In game, which will be played in two weeks' time.

One person who was ecstatic about the return of Embiid to the Philadelphia lineup was none other than former Washington Wizards star shooting guard Gilbert Arenas, who recently took to his own Gil's Arena Show podcast to offer some sage advice to the multi-time All Star, hoping that Embiid truly is healthy and not just going back out onto the court for show.

“No one cares, do not go out there to play injured to prove to us you're injured… the dumbest thing you can do is reinjure, retweak it,” said Arenas, per ClutchPoints on X, the social media platform formerly referred to as Twitter.

Leading up to Tuesday's news, there had been speculation that Embiid was nearing a return, although for the most part, the situation remained shrouded in mystery, as head coach Nick Nurse mostly stayed away from providing a definitive timetable.

A turbulent season in Philadelphia

There hasn't been much if any sense of normalcy around the 76ers organization for most of the 2023-24 season. The campaign began enveloped in controversy as star point guard James Harden, fresh off of one of his many infamous playoff flameouts, publicly feuded with 76ers president of basketball operations Daryl Morey and demanded a trade. That wish was fulfilled less than a week into the season, as Harden was sent to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for a package centered around veteran role players and future draft picks.

After the Harden fiasco, the 76ers actually played some really solid basketball, thanks in no small part to Embiid's continued dominance along with the emergence of Tyrese Maxey as a legitimate co-star. Philadelphia was near the top of the Eastern Conference playoff picture for most of the first half of the season before the big man went down with the injury.

Since then, Maxey has continued to play well, but the 76ers have predictably cascaded down the standings, and would be forced to participate in the Play-In game if the season ended today (although they would have two tries to win one game once they got there). However, now the hope is that the 76ers will be able to make up ground in the standings with the help of their best player while simultaneously getting Embiid some crucial game repetitions ahead of the postseason.

The 76ers and Thunder are slated to tip off at 7:30 PM ET.