76ers' Joel Embiid 'ready to get started' after missing 2 seasons

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Sunday, August 28, 2016

After two foot surgeries and two missed seasons, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid says he finally feels "100 percent."

Embiid, a Kansas product who was taken No. 3 overall in the 2014 NBA draft, has yet to play in an NBA game, missing his first two seasons in the league because of a fracture in the navicular bone of his right foot.

But he told Philly.com on Saturday that he's optimistic after putting in a strong summer of workouts and scrimmages with teammates.

"I feel 100 percent and ready to get started," said Embiid, who spoke while making an appearance at the Sixers' annual Beach Bash on Saturday. "We have been working on a lot this summer, and I got a chance to play a little bit against the guys, and it has been going great."

Sixers coach Brett Brown expressed similar optimism earlier this week, telling ESPN's Zach Lowe that he has been impressed with Embiid in recent workouts.

"I just left my third consecutive day working out with Joel," Brown said on "The Lowe Post" podcast. "He just is so on track, he's on track in his head, he's on track physically. I will tell you that, behind closed doors, physically, mentally, recent scans medically, everything is pointing in the right direction."

Brown also confirmed to Lowe that Embiid is expected to see his first game action for the Sixers during the 2016 preseason, which begins Oct. 4 against the Boston Celtics. Training camp begins next month.

Embiid acknowledged, however, that the Sixers will take a cautious approach with him.

"I think the decision will probably be about that I haven't played in two years," he said to Philly.com. "It won't be because people are worried that I am going to reinjure myself, which I don't think is going to happen, but it will be about the fact I haven't played in two years and take it slow."