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Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid on bout with COVID-19: ‘I really thought I wasn’t going to make it’

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 27: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Wells Fargo Center on November 27, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Timberwolves defeated the 76ers 121-120 in double overtime. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images via CNN)

(CNN) — Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid returned to the court on Saturday night after being forced to miss nine games due to a positive COVID-19 result.

Embiid told reporters after the game he thought he wasn’t going to make it.

“That jawn hit me hard,” Embiid said. “I really thought I wasn’t going to make it. 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.”

“Jawn” is Philadelphia slang, which can be used in place of almost any noun.

Embiid said he had trouble breathing and had “headaches worse than migraines.”

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

CNN has reached out to the 76ers to confirm Embiid’s vaccination status, but the team wouldn’t confirm.

Embiid finished the game with 42 points and 14 rebounds in 45 minutes played in the 121-120 double overtime loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

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

The 76ers are currently 10-10 on the season and are next scheduled to play Monday against the Orlando Magic.