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Embiid could miss two more games (back), but likely ready for Christmas Day vs. Knicks

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Cause for concern with 76ers? (1:47)

Ryen Russillo breaks down some of the 76ers' recent struggles, including those on the defensive end. (1:47)

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, sidelined with a sore back, could miss two more games this week but is expected to return for the Christmas Day meeting with New York, league sources told ESPN.

Despite the likelihood of resting his back for the remainder of the week, there's optimism that Embiid will be fit to face the Knicks on Monday, league sources said.

Embiid, 23, sat out consecutive losses to Chicago and Sacramento in recent days. The Sixers have lost seven of eight games, dropping to 14-16 on the season.

Embiid, averaging 24.1 points, 11 rebounds and 1.9 blocks, has emerged as one of the NBA's most dominant players this season. He missed his first full two seasons with foot injuries and played 31 games in 2016-17.

This season, the Sixers have lost six of seven games without Embiid in the lineup. He played a career-high 49 minutes in a triple-overtime loss to Oklahoma City on Friday.

He signed a five-year, $146.5 million maximum contract extension in October.