Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid admitted he thought his season was over after he suffered a nasty injury last month against the Washington Wizards. On Saturday night, Embiid returned to the Sixers lineup after a 10-game absence and led his team to a win as he scored 24 points in a 122-113 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
"When I got hurt, and was laying on the floor in Washington, honestly, I thought I was done," Embiid said after his first game back from a bone bruise in that left knee, per ESPN. "I thought my season was done.
The pain, how bad it was hurting, I just knew that it was something worse than we saw after. "I was just crying and asking myself, 'Why me? Why does it always happen to me? When everything seems to be going well with the team and myself, something always has to happen.'
Embiid admits it will take time to get into the rhythm
"Defensively, it's easy. I've got to just be myself. Block shots and protect the paint, not let anything get in there. But offensively, I'm going to kind of blame the brace I was wearing.
It just felt like I just didn't have the rhythm all game. It felt like I had an itch on my shot, every single shot. It wasn't smooth. I had no rhythm. I hate the brace and that was part of it. "I just have to get used to it, play with it and hope it keeps getting better.
But offensively, I had way too many turnovers." The Timberwolves focused on Embiid but still the Sixers center delivered a good performance. "They would double and triple every time I had it on the block," Embiid said.
"It's fitting because the coach, he comes from Toronto, so I knew going into the game that was going to happen. "I've just got to get in sync with my teammates ... but it's going to come with time."
Most importantly, Embiid's body feels "great." "It was tough," Embiid said. "Yesterday was really the first time I kind of went full court since I got hurt. So it's going to take a while to get back to myself, but my body feels great.
Obviously, game shape is different than how your body feels, but the main thing is my body feels great, and I just got to keep putting up these games and these practices and I'll be back to where I was before I got hurt."