Over the last three weeks now, Joel Embiid has been out of the Philadelphia 76ers' lineup with COVID-19. The virus hit him a bit harder than anticipated and during that time, he was simply unable to get in any basketball workouts. Embiid is a player who can get out of shape quickly, and as a result, the Sixers star has been hard at work to get back into game shape.

The Sixers have been on a bit of a skid during this time, especially since they don't have Ben Simmons to fall back on. It has made Embiid that much more important to the roster, and there is no doubt that the Sixers are excited at the prospect of getting him back.

Joel Embiid

Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Embiid is very close to returning, and his first game back could be as soon as this weekend. The Sixers are playing against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday, and there is a belief that he will be able to play that game. However, he could end up playing next Monday against Orlando, if he doesn't feel ready to go come this weekend.

Either way, this is very good news for a Sixers squad that could really use their center back. Stay tuned to HNHH as we will be sure to bring you all of the latest updates on this situation.