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76ers center Joel Embiid not cleared for 5-on-5 drills

PHILADELPHIA -- 76ers center Joel Embiid has not been cleared for 5-on-5 drills, and the team will take a cautious approach in his return from his injured left knee.

Embiid's career has been riddled with injuries, and he missed his first two NBA seasons. Embiid played only 31 games last season and had surgery in March to repair a torn meniscus in his knee.

Team president Bryan Colangelo and coach Brett Brown said Wednesday the team will soon decide how to handle his playing time when training camp opens next week.

"If you walk in the gym, it looks like he could play 5-on-5 basketball," Colangelo said. "But we're going to take our cues from the people who know best."

According to Colangelo, those people favor a "hyperconservative progression" for Embiid.

"Will he be ramping that up throughout the preseason?" Colangelo said. "Yes. How many games, we're not certain. Is it every game? We don't know. That will be based on what we're told."

Colangelo said he was optimistic the Sixers and Embiid could agree to a contract extension before the Oct. 16 deadline.

Colangelo said there were some unspecified criteria Embiid needed to hit before he was cleared for 5-on-5 drills.

"It's not about being ready for the first practice or the first game," Colangelo said. "And he will be out there for the first practice and the first game. The question is how much, how little, if at all. Those things will be determined by certain criteria along the way."

Embiid averaged 20.2 points and 7.8 rebounds last season.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Source:  http://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/20768467/injured-philadelphia-76ers-center-joel-embiid-not-cleared-5-5-drills

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