Injuries continue to debilitate the Philadelphia 76ers, but there's hope on the horizon regarding All-Star center Joel Embiid.
Embiid practiced Friday for the first time since undergoing surgery of a torn ligament on his left hand, and is hoping to be back next week.
During a full practice, Embiid went through contact drills and, according to the Sixers, will be reassessed on Monday.
"Just trying to get back into it and make the progress that's necessary," Embiid said after a lengthy workout following Friday's practice. "But I feel good. ... I think my finger feels good."
On Thursday, the Sixers learned that shooting guard Josh Richardson will be out two to three weeks after sustaining a left hamstring strain in Wednesday's game against the Toronto Raptors.
He sustained a similar injury to his right hamstring two months ago and missed six games. Richardson, 26, is averaging 15.0 points and 3.4 assists per game in 38 games (all starts) in 2019-20, his first with the 76ers after playing four seasons with the Miami Heat.
Former first-round pick Zhaire Smith, 20, who played in only six games as a rookie last season, averaging 6.7 points a game, is expected to fill the void while Richardson is out. Called up from the Delaware Blue Coats of the G League, he practiced with the Sixers on Friday.
Embiid, who had surgery in early January to repair a torn ligament in the fourth metacarpal in his left hand, is averaging 23.4 points and 12.3 rebounds in 31.1 minutes per game this season.
His most productive season thus far was in 2018-19, when he played in 64 games (all starts) and averaged 27.5 points and 13.6 rebounds per game.
--Field Level Media