76ers’ Joel Embiid exits first half after suffering right calf tightness, but hopes to return this Friday vs. Warriors

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Sixers center Joel Embiid only played 16 minutes in his team’s 116-91 triumph this Wednesday night against the Chicago Bulls, as he exited the game at halftime due to mild right calf tightness.

The Philadelphia star had scored 12 points by that point, adding 7 rebounds and 7 assists to his stat line by the time he left. For him, the move was mostly to be cautious, as he still felt somewhat fit to keep playing.

“Like I always say, it’s all about the playoffs, trying to make sure we get there healthy,” he said. “We’re just going to see how it goes the next few days.”

The current MVP frontrunner said he first felt pain in his calf during Monday’s double-overtime defeat to the Bulls, but then felt it again last night in the back-to-back clash in Chicago.

Even though the 29-year-old believes he should be fit to play the Warriors this Friday in California, he said he cannot be entirely sure how the tightness will react as the injury is still fresh.

“If it feels good, of course I will want to play,” the big man expressed after Wednesday’s match. “But if it’s not right, then we’re going to figure it out.”

Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers, on the other hand, defined his star’s injury as “very mild.” “We just felt like (keeping him out) was the right thing to do,” the trainer added.

The Sixers remain third in the Eastern Conference standings with a 49-23 record, as they’re focusing this final push of regular season on beating either the Milwaukee Bucks’ to the first seed, or more realistically reach the region’s second spot over the Boston Celtics.

Philly won’t have it easy as they are set to endure their final extended road trip of the campaign, a stretch that includes three more games after yesterday’s in Chicago, as Golden State, Phoenix, and Denver are the next in line.

Are the 76ers contenders for the title? Yesterday the ESPN panel discussed their chances:

The following three matches against Western Conference squads are all among the region’s top six teams, as there are only 10 more contests to go before the playoffs.

What’s the medical report on James Harden and Jalen McDaniels?

As James Harden and Jalen McDaniels both missed last night’s victory in Chicago due to injuries, we are wondering if they’re soon to return to court. The star guard has been suffering from left achilles soreness, as for the foward was sidelined due to right hip soreness.

The veteran had a terrible performance last Monday as the Sixers fell to the Bulls, only scoring 5 points and missing 2-for-14, though adding 12 assists to his tally after 47 minutes of play. Harden is averaging 21.4 points and an NBA-high 10.8 assists in 53 games this campaign.

Coach Rivers said last night he believes Harden will be available to compete against Golden State.

“We’ve gone into the playoffs two years in a row with injuries,” Rivers said. “We all know you don’t win in the playoffs if your key guys aren’t healthy. Period. And so we’re going to do whatever we can to be healthy.”

Antonio is a life long sports enthusiast and professional journalist, who shares an obssesive urge to find and dig up the most interesting facts to guide gamblers towards more exciting, yet safe bets. In his own words, ''you can never really know enough about the things you love''.

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