Joel Embiid (knee) anticipates playing in Olympics

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid is still recovering from his left knee injury but said Friday night before Game 4 of the NBA Finals that he is hopeful of playing for Team USA in the Paris Olympics this summer.

The 2022-23 MVP was limited to 39 games in the 2023-24 regular season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. He hobbled through the playoffs after returning to action

“I’m doing great. Just getting ready for the Olympics,” Embiid said on ABC prior to the game between the host Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics. “It’s going to be big for me because I’ve been dreaming about it since I was a kid. I’m excited about it.”

Embiid is on the U.S. roster along with fellow big men Bam Adebayo of the Miami Heat and Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers.

Embiid also was eligible to play in the Olympics for his native Cameroon or for France. However, in October, he chose to play for the United States due to his son being born in the country.

Embiid, 30, was injured in a collision with Golden State Warriors forward Jonathan Kuminga on Jan. 30. He underwent a procedure to fix the damage to his meniscus on Feb. 6.

The seven-time All-Star was averaging 35.3 points, 11.3 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 1.8 blocks in 34 games prior to the injury. His final averages were 34.7 points, 11.0 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 1.7 blocks. In the 76ers’ first-round playoff series loss against the New York Knicks, Embiid averaged 33.0 points, 10.8 boards, 5.7 assists and 1.5 blocks over the six games.