Philadelphia 76ers Joel Embiid remains in recovery from his left knee injury. Despite this, he expressed hope on Friday night of representing Team USA in the Paris Olympics this summer.

The 2023 MVP injured his meniscus during a January 30 game against the Golden State Warriors, necessitating surgery. Consequently, Embiid participated in just 39 games during the regular season, the fewest since his rookie year.

Despite returning before the playoffs began, Embiid continued to be hampered by knee issues during the 76ers' first-round loss to the New York Knicks. He momentarily exited Game 1 after collapsing in pain following a dunk but managed to return in the second half.

During an appearance on NBA Countdown, the Philadelphia 76ers superstar expressed his excitement about competing in Paris.

“I’m doing great. Just getting ready for the Olympics. It's going to be big for me because I've been dreaming about it since I was a kid. I'm excited about it,” said Embiid.

Before his knee problems, Embiid seemed poised for a second consecutive MVP accolade. Although he didn't meet the minimum game requirement for awards eligibility, he concluded the season with impressive stats, averaging 34.7 points and 11.0 rebounds per game while shooting 52.9% from the field, 38.8% from beyond the arc, and 88.3% from the free-throw line.

Joel Embiid in Team USA

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) reacts during overtime in game 5 of the first round of the 2024 NBA playoffs against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Embiid was also eligible to represent his native Cameroon or France in the Olympics. However, he opted to play for the United States in October, citing his son's birth in the country as a key factor in his decision.

Last year, Embiid disclosed that all his recent choices had centered around family stating, “For the past few years, every decision I've made has been based on just family,” he said.

“My family, my son, and having the chance to represent a country like the U.S., with my son being born here. … I love my home country, but I really wanted to play in the Olympics,” Embiid continued.

The 76ers star’s physical condition has been a subject of interest concerning the U.S. roster since it was disclosed earlier this spring. He is among the trio of centers included in the team, along with the Miami Heat's Bam Adebayo and the Los Angeles Lakers' Anthony Davis.

It's encouraging to see him making good progress in his recovery as the Olympics draw nearer. A healthy Embiid adds considerable strength to a U.S. team already boasting talents like LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Kevin Durant.

Injury concerns for USA Basketball Men's National Team

In recent weeks, there have been concerns about the status of Team USA teammates, Tyrese Haliburton from the Indiana Pacers and Kawhi Leonard from the LA Clippers. Both players were either dealing with injuries or were unable to participate during the playoffs.

The Pacers are optimistic that Tyrese Haliburton, who had a hamstring problem, will be available for the start of the USA camp in Las Vegas on July 5th.

On the other hand, Kawhi Leonard missed 12 of the Clippers' final 14 games of the season due to inflammation in his right knee. Embiid’s availability is great news for Team USA with Leonard likely being out for the Olympics.