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December 10, 2016

Nerlens Noel to make season debut Sunday, while Joel Embiid (right elbow) won’t make trip

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After undergoing surgery on his left knee in late October, Nerlens Noel will make his season debut for the Sixers on Sunday when the team travels to Auburn Hills, Michigan to take on the Detroit Pistons. He will be joined in the frontcourt by Jahlil Okafor, who missed three straight games due to gastroenteritis.

Noel will be brought off the bench, according to Brett Brown:

But Brown won’t have to juggle minutes for all three of his big guys just yet. In what is being described as a precautionary decision, Joel Embiid will miss Sunday’s game with right elbow inflammation.

Embiid didn’t practice on Saturday, after bumping his elbow during Thursday night’s win over the Pelicans.

Speaking of Embiid, the Sixers are now outscoring their opponents by a slight margin when “The Process” plays, a pretty remarkable stat that shows how valuable his shooting and rim protection already are just a handful of games into his career. Overall, the Sixers are the worst team in the league in net rating.

The Sixers’ next game is Wednesday night at home against the Toronto Raptors. Will that be the first game of the season that Embiid, Noel, and Okafor all suit up for?

Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann