The Philadelphia 76ers selected Joel Embiid with the third pick in the 2014 NBA draft fully understanding that he would likely miss his entire rookie season after undergoing surgery for a broken navicular bone in his right foot.
The idea behind selecting Embiid so high was to give him an entire year to recover from the foot injury and be ready to play in time for the 2015-16 season.
Unfortunately for the team, a recent report from Yahoo Sports NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski suggests that Embiid suffered a setback of some sort in his recovery from the surgery.
“After weeks of rigorous workouts, Embiid had not felt pain in the foot, but a recent CT scan revealed an issue in the healing process, sources said. Philadelphia is consulting with doctors on how to best proceed, and it’s still premature to speculate on the possibility of another surgical procedure that could sideline Embiid, sources said.”
To say that this has the potential to be a major catastrophe for the Sixers would be an understatement. The team is relying on Embiid to return to health in order for its long-term rebuilding plan to get off the ground and start showing some results on the court.
Sixers president and general manager Sam Hinkie released the following statement after reports broke of Embiid’s setback:
“As part of the conservative approach focused on the long-term health, recovery and care of Joel, we have been closely monitoring his progress, regularly evaluating his status and adjusting our plans accordingly. Recently, Joel and Sixers personnel traveled to Los Angeles for a series of routine exams with a number of physicians who have been actively involved throughout this process. During his visit with Dr. Richard Ferkel, a standard CT scan on Joel’s right foot revealed less healing than anticipated at this point.
Our priority remains providing Joel with every opportunity to ensure he has a long and successful NBA career, and as such, these findings cause us to pause and reassess his current activities. Together with Joel and his representatives, we will continue to consult with the experienced team of doctors who have been an integral part of his evaluations, while also engaging in dialogue with a broader set of experts and specialists.
Discussions regarding the appropriate next steps are currently ongoing and we will share an update once it becomes available.”
While this is some rather alarming news, there really is no information out there leading anyone to believe that Embiid will have to undergo further surgery on his right foot. Unfortunately, we all know the history when it comes to young big men with foot injuries. That’s a risk Philadelphia knew it was taking.
Photo: USA Today Sports