The Sixers close out the week with a home-and-home against the Toronto Raptors on Thursday and Saturday. Embiid, who has missed the last two games and four of the last six, is expected to return for his team's Christmas Day game against the New York Knicks on Monday, sources told Wojnarowski.
The Sixers have been closely monitoring Embiid's workload, never playing him on both ends of back-to-backs and keeping him on a minutes restriction when he played early in the season. But the last two games he appeared in both went to overtime, and Embiid wound up playing 88 combined minutes (including nearly 49 in Friday's triple-OT loss to the Thunder) while laboring with the back issue that's been bothering him since a Dec. 7 game against the Lakers.
If he's able to suit up on Christmas, it will be Embiid's first game at Madison Square Garden. It will also be a much-needed boost to a team that's struggled badly without him. The Sixers are 13-10 this season in games Embiid has played, and 1-6 in those he hasn't. They've been 14.2 points per 100 possessions worse when he isn't on the court.