Sixers news: Joel Embiid 'hoping to play' next week
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Joel Embiid ‘hoping to play’ next week

Sixers, Joel Embiid

Philadelphia 76ers star center Joel Embiid told the Sixers media on Friday he’s “hoping to play” next week.

Embiid is still out for the Sixers after having surgery earlier in January to address a torn radial collateral ligament in the fourth metacarpal in his left hand. The Sixers are 29-17 on the season. The Sixers are currently in sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings:

“Just trying to get back into it and make the progress that’s necessary,” Joel Embiid said, via ESPN. “But I feel good. I think my finger feels good. Right now we are sixth in the East. Next week, I’m hoping to play.

“Still getting used to it. From time to time, you get slapped on the hand, so going through practice and going through those scenarios and seeing how it goes and also getting back into it. I had a little time off where I couldn’t do anything with the surgery, so probably a little bit winded, and have to get my conditioning back.”

In 31 games this season, Embiid is averaging 23.4 points, 12.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists. He’s shooting 47.2 percent from the field, 32.2 percent from beyond the arc and 83.7 percent from the free-throw line. On Thursday, he was named an Eastern Conference starter for the All-Star Game, which will take place in February in Chicago.

The Sixers will be in the market for perimeter shooting threats with playmaking ability with the NBA trade deadline looming. The team needs more shooters around Embiid and Ben Simmons.