Storyline: Joel Embiid Injury

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Keith Pompey: Colangelo on if Embiid had a setback: “No. He’s a 7-foot, 280-pound specimen that had knee surgery in the offseason. You know, cut his season short. He had five-and-half, six months to his return to play. It looks like if you walked into the gym. He could be playing five-on-five basketball. But once again, we are going to take our cues from people that now best.”

You mention Rihanna, any update on your pursuit of Rihanna? Joel Embiid: No, I’m focused on rehab [laughs]. That can wait. My career comes first right now. Speaking of, how is your knee feeling and where are you at in the rehab process? Joel Embiid: I’m feeling good. I’m supposed to see the doctor next week and they’re going to check everything just to make sure everything looks good. But I’ve been feeling good so I expect to be back on the court next week.

Philadelphia 76ers Director Of Performance Research & Development Dr. David T. Martin: “Joel will complete his initial rehabilitation in Los Angeles, with specialists and our medical and training staff committed to a conservative and measured rehabilitation and recovery plan. Based on the program that has been outlined, we will continually evaluate Joel’s progress against predetermined benchmarks and anticipate he will resume basketball activities this summer.”

The 7-2 center met up with the Sixers last weekend in Los Angeles, where they played back-to-back games against the Clippers and Lakers. The team said he was going to meet one of his doctors there to check out the torn meniscus in his left knee. Then Thursday, the team announced that Embiid stayed behind in Los Angeles with Dr. David Martin, the Sixers’ director of performance research and development, and the two traveled to San Diego to see another specialist.

Missing 215 out of a possible 246 games to start his career looks really, really bad. And, to be fair, it is. But that perspective is painted almost entirely by the navicular bone which caused him to miss his first two seasons. When you isolate the new information, and how that impacts his future health, this meniscus tear isn’t likely to be a big factor down the road. It’s an injury that looks bad because of the previous two seasons. That looks bad because he’ll end up missing 51 games this year, even though that number is heavily influenced by the team’s cautious approach to bringing him back, as Embiid missed 11 games prior to the January 20th injury, through little fault of his own.

Prior to Monday night’s game against the Bucks, Sixers coach Brett Brown was asked if Simmons and Joel Embiid, whose left knee and cautiousness with his right foot surgeries are limiting him to 31 games this season, would play in the summer. “I think it’s too early to make that judgment,” Brown said. “I hear the question, but I think that’s certainly stuff that we’re talking about. But in relation to giving a definite answer, we’re not even close to being there yet.”

Meniscus tears typically require trimming out the piece that’s torn or completely stitching it back into place. If the Sixers do opt for one of those options, Dr. Mark Schwartz of Virtua Health still expects Embiid to be back for the start of the 2017-18 campaign. “Ideally, you hope you can actually repair it. Long term, it’s in his benefit,” Schwartz, who is not treating Embiid, said on Wednesday’s edition of Philly Sports Talk. “Either way, he should be back for next season with no restrictions.”

“I think initially the bulk of the symptoms were coming from the bone bruise and the meniscal symptoms were probably in the background,” Schwartz said. “Now that the recent MRI reportedly shows improvement in the bone bruise, I think now that the symptoms from the menisci have come to the surface and I think the new MRI shows the meniscal tear to be bigger than originally thought. “I think the next step now that you know that he’s not going to be playing for the rest of the season and he still has these symptoms and he’s had this meniscal tear for quite some time now, I think the next logical step is to look into his knee arthroscopically.”

Joel Embiid out for the season

Embiid’s status is changed from out indefinitely to out for the remainder of this season. “Our primary objective and focus remains to protect his long-term health and ability to perform on the basketball court,” said Sixers President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo. “As our medical team and performance staff continue their diligence in the evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation of Joel’s injury, we will provide any pertinent updates when available.”
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December 17, 2017 | 6:22 pm EST Update
Timberwolves guard Jimmy Butler’s sore back kept him out of most of practice Sunday and could keep him out of Monday’s game against Portland at Target Center. “He didn’t do much today,’’ Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau said after Sunday’s short practice. “Just getting treatment. We’ll see how he is [Monday].” The Timberwolves officially listed Butler as questionable with back spasms.
Storyline: Jimmy Butler Injury