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Joel Embiid Yet to be Cleared for 5-on-5 Drills

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76ers center Joel Embiid has not been cleared for 5-on-5 drills, and the team will take a cautious approach in his return from his injured left knee.

Embiid’s career has been riddled with injuries, and he missed his first two NBA seasons. Embiid played only 31 games last season and had surgery in March to repair a torn meniscus in his knee.

Team president Bryan Colangelo and coach Brett Brown said Wednesday the team will soon decide how to handle his playing time when training camp opens next week.

“If you walk in the gym, it looks like he could play 5-on-5 basketball,” Colangelo said. “But we’re going to take our cues from the people who know best.”

According to Colangelo, those people favor a “hyperconservative progression” for Embiid.

“Will he be ramping that up throughout the preseason?” Colangelo said. “Yes. How many games, we’re not certain. Is it every game? We don’t know. That will be based on what we’re told.”

Source: ESPN

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Bobby Portis Apologizes to Bulls for Mirotic Fight

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Bobby Portis has apologized to his Bulls teammates for getting into a fight that left Nikola Mirotic with facial fractures and a concussion. “He didn’t address us today, but he did address the team before so that was taken care of,” Bulls swingman Justin Holiday said after Friday’s practice.

Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg acknowledged that Portis’ apology took place during a team meeting but did not want to go into specific details about his message. “I’ll keep that between the team,” Hoiberg said, “as far as exactly what was said in that meeting.”

Source: Nick Friedell of ESPN

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Joel Embiid Still Not Cleared for Back-to-Back Games

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Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid said he has not been cleared to play back-to-back games and does not expect to be in the lineup Saturday at Toronto.

Embiid was in the starting lineup for the home opener Friday night against the Boston Celtics, scoring 11 points to go along with 14 rebounds in 28 minutes as Philadelphia lost 102-92. Asked after Friday’s game if he was OK with not playing Saturday night, Embiid replied, “Um I’m not OK with it but we have a plan in place and we have to follow it.”

Source: ESPN

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Dennis Smith Jr. Out for Next Two Games With Knee Injury

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Dennis Smith Jr. will miss at least two games due to swelling in the left knee that the Dallas Mavericks’ prized rookie point guard had surgically repaired two years ago.

Smith was a late scratch before Friday’s loss to the Sacramento Kings and will not travel with the Mavericks for Saturday’s road game against the Houston Rockets.

Source: Tim MacMahon of ESPN

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