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Philadelphia 76ers superstar Joel Embiid made his return Tuesday from a knee injury that sidelined the reigning NBA MVP for two months. He was in Philly's starting lineup against the Thunder for his first action since Jan. 30. Embiid has been sidelined for the last two months with a left meniscus injury that required surgery.

Embiid reportedly did not participate in Tuesday's shootaround, but he was upgraded to questionable against the Thunder less than two hours before tip-off and eventually got the nod.

Getting their big man back is obviously massive news for the Sixers, who currently sit eighth in the Eastern Conference and have fallen down the standings without their franchise centerpiece. There was some thought that Embiid was nearing a return after Sixers coach Nick Nurse said last week that the star big man would join the team on the road trip in order to work out. At the time Nurse didn't give a timetable for Embiid's return, but it appears as though his rehab moved at a swift enough pace for him to make a return this week.

Since Embiid went down, the Sixers have gone just 11-18, and while only 2.5 games separate them and the No. 6 Indiana Pacers, unless they close that gap, it appears that the road to the postseason for Philly will have to start with the Play-In Tournament. But if Embiid returns healthy, no one will want to face a Sixers team at full strength. Prior to Embiid's injury, the Sixers had the third-best net rating in the league, and Embiid was well on his way to win the MVP for the second straight year. 

Embiid -- who has played in 35 games to date -- is not eligible for MVP or All-NBA honors this season thanks to the NBA's new 65-game minimum rule, but he still leads the league in scoring at 35.3 points per game, while also averaging 11.3 rebounds and a career high 5.7 assists. The combination of him and Tyrese Maxey was among the best in the league, and it looked like the Sixers were primed for a postseason run.

Now that Embiid is returning with less than two weeks left of the regular season, the Sixers could once again be considered a dangerous threat in the Eastern Conference, even if they won't have home-court advantage. If the Sixers make it out of the Play-In Tournament, they would currently be slated to face either the top-seeded Boston Celtics or the No. 2 Milwaukee Bucks.

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