'Body was done': Brutal toll of Joel Embiid's brush with Covid-19

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·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
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Joel Embiid says he was left shaken by the severe effects of his illness after contracting Covid-19 several weeks ago. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
Joel Embiid says he was left shaken by the severe effects of his illness after contracting Covid-19 several weeks ago. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Philadelphia 76ers superstar Joel Embiid says he feared for his long-term health after contracting Covid-19 earlier in November.

Embiid returned from a two-week absence to drop 42 points in an overtime loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves last weekend, but his performance belied the impact the illness had on the 27-year-old.

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Despite being fully vaccinated, Embiid endured a breakthrough case of illness associated with the virus, ultimately missing nine games and having to watch as the 76ers posted a 2-7 record with him sidelined.

His heroic effort in overtime wasn't quite enough however, as the Timberwolves escaped with an impressive 121-120 victory.

Speaking after the game, Embiid left reporters under no illusions as to how badly the illness had affected him over the previous weeks.

Despite clearing protocols, Embiid took extra time off to regain conditioning before his return.

“I really thought I wasn’t going to make it,” Embiid said.

“It was that bad. So, I’m just thankful to be sitting here. I struggled with it, but I’m just glad I got over it and I’m just here doing what I love with some good people.

“The whole body was just done, I guess. It was not a good time.

“Honestly, I did not think I was going to play tonight after the workout last night.

“Really couldn’t go up and down more than three times. I guess, to me it’s a miracle I even played this many minutes.”

Several other players to have contracted Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic have also spoken about feeling they needed an increased amount of time to fully recover.

Boston Celtics duo Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown both had recovered from their brushes with the coronavirus, but also felt worse for wear for some time afterwards despite no longer being infections.

The overwhelming majority of NBA and WNBA players are fully vaccinated, with Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving the only high-profile player to have publicly refused to be vaccinated.

New York is one of a handful of US states to mandate vaccination for certain workers, a remit which includes NBA players.

Hot Curry, LeBron fire in latest NBA wins

Stephen Curry is among the most dangerous players in the NBA and an angry two-time MVP proved to be more lethal.

The Golden State star took out his frustrations on the Los Angeles Clippers after being called for a technical foul in the fourth quarter - for remonstrating with a referee over a non-call.

Curry scored 11 of his 33 points after that as the Warriors extended their winning streak to eight with a 105-90 victory.

"It was just an accumulation of all types of weird stuff. All that led into where I thought I got a foul," Curry, who also had a season-high six steals to go with five rebounds and six assists, said.

"It definitely fired me and the team up. After that it was time to direct my energy into putting the ball in the basket."

Steph Curry erupted against the LA Clippers for 33 points to extend Golden State's winning streak to eight games. (Stephen Lam/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)
Steph Curry erupted against the LA Clippers for 33 points to extend Golden State's winning streak to eight games. (Stephen Lam/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)

Curry finished with seven three-pointers to take his tally for the season to 100 in just 19 games - improving his own record for the least number of games to reach that mark in a single campaign.

They improved their NBA-best record to 18-2 heading into a showdown on Tuesday night in Phoenix against the streaking Suns - who are 17-3 after winning 16 straight.

In more positive signs for the Warriors, Klay Thompson (Achilles) - who has not played since Game 6 of the 2019 NBA Finals - and James Wiseman (knee) were both assigned to the team's G League affiliate as they continue their way back from injury.

Defending champions Milwaukee extended their winning streak to seven by cruising past the Indiana Pacers 118-100.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 26 points and 13 rebounds while Jrue Holiday added 23 points as one of six Bucks players to score in double figures.

"We're playing together and everybody is contributing," Holiday said.

"It's been fun."

LeBron James recorded 33 points and nine assists to help the Los Angeles Lakers notch a 110-106 victory over the visiting Detroit Pistons.

With AAP

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