But based on discussions with three longtime NBA executives and online research, it appears the Sixers are hoping Embiid can become the first player in league history to be a difference-maker after missing his first two seasons due to injury. "I'm sure there aren't many," said a league source. "I don't think I've heard of that happening."
As for those wondering if Embiid's foot is progressing as quickly as it should, the first source said, "Don't believe (it's not). He's doing fine — well, in fact. He's reached another gear."
Two sources expressed surprise that the Sixers don't plan to let Embiid first experience NBA ball in a more controlled atmosphere during July's summer leagues like they did with Nerlens Noel in July 2014 after Noel was sidelined for his first year with a torn ACL. "All of this pressure is going to be on him to perform," said the third source. "He's the face of the franchise. Why wouldn't you get him out in Vegas against rookies and first- and second-year players who don't play a lot, or fringe guys?"
Embiid supposedly advanced to play some 4-on-4 last spring, only to re-injure the foot and require a second season-ending bone graft surgery in August 2015 in which the two screws were replaced. "In the prime of his learning curve, he's not learning," said a third league source.
Joel Embiid is back in Qatar. This time, the 76ers center has some team personnel with him. Embiid left Philadelphia this week and will spend the next several weeks at Aspetar, an orthopedic and sports medicine hospital located in Doha, Qatar. He had a lot of success there, and the team wanted to send him back for more treatment, according to a source.
Jessica Camerato: Embiid's current visit to Qatar will include rehab again and a little more training than the previous visit, according to a source.
A lot of hype surrounding the 76ers' 2016-17 season involves Joel Embiid. That's when the 7-foot-2 center is scheduled to make his debut after being sidelined this season and last season following surgeries to his right foot. But . . . "I think everybody also must understand that . . . it's not like [Embiid] is going to come out and play 40 minutes and play 82 games," Sixers coach Brett Brown said. "That would be naive and not true.
"I think everybody also must understand that . . . it's not like [Embiid] is going to come out and play 40 minutes and play 82 games," Sixers coach Brett Brown said. "That would be naïve and not true. "We have to be responsible with some minute restrictions with him. You would assume that he's not going to play back-to-back games. All those things will be determined."
But the biggest thing that Aspetar might offer is a place of familiarity for Embiid. For a French-speaking Cameroonian athlete who grew up playing soccer, a medical staff that widely speaks French is a little slice of home. Not only that, it's a whole lot nicer to be in Doha, Qatar, where the highs are in the upper 70s than in the harsh, dark winters of Philadelphia. "He bought in in a big way," Brown says of Embiid. "He is doing great. I feel like I see an older player, a more committed, excited player. The recognition that he hasn't played basketball in a while, he can't miss a bit, he can't miss a step. The circle of people we've put around him is massive."
Embiid put up shots before Wednesday’s game against the Hornets and was working with coaches and Carl Landry long after Sixers practice wrapped Thursday. Each workout session is planned out without going overboard to rush the schedule. He has not appeared in an NBA game since being drafted third overall by the Sixers in 2014. “It’s very monitored,” Brown said. “It’s very structured. It’s deliberate practice. It needs to be. Any excitement that we see coming back, it can’t be misinterpreted and abused where you do something longer or harder or more of than you should have. There’s a diet. There is a prescribed duration of drills and time and so on that we have to stick to and it is increasing.”
After practice, they spoke of his positive presence. “I knew JoJo prior to even before coming here,” said Jahlil Okafor, who got to know Embiid while he was at the University of Kansas. “He’s like a brother to me. I love JoJo. When he’s around, he just picks everybody up. We know he’s doing what he has to do for recovery. It’s great to have him here.”
The update did, unfortunately, contain one sobering admission from Hinkie: he doesn't expect Embiid to play in summer league. “If I had to guess, I doubt it,” Hinkie said, when asked whether fans should expect to see Embiid play in July. “The goal from here is to back up and say, ‘Let’s have Joel raring to go for next season,’ but not [necessarily] for Salt Lake on the fifth of July.”
“The first time through, he got injured and had surgery in June  and was getting ready for Summer League in July . This last time, he had surgery in August ,” Hinkie continued. “We definitely wouldn’t push him to be ready in July , and I’m not sure it would make a whole lot of sense at, the end of the day.”
Tom Moore: #Sixers Hinkie: 'If I had to guess, I doubt' Embiid would play in summer league. We definitely wouldn't push him.' #NBA
Joel Embiid wasn't with the 76ers when they returned from the six-day all-star break Wednesday evening. Embiid was in Doha, which is the capital of Qatar, consulting and rehabilitating his twice surgically repaired right foot at Aspetar, which bills itself as "the world's leading specialized orthopedic and sports medicine hospital."
Embiid traveled to Qatar, which is in the Persian Gulf, over the weekend and is expected to remain there for a few more days, according to a second NBA source that confirmed the first source's report.
The source called this a "previously scheduled" trip at a facility the organization had investigated for roughly six months and referred to it as "a kick-start to the next phase" of Embiid's rehab. The source, emphasizing Embiid hasn't had a setback, said Embiid's stay involves "evaluation, consultation, training and meeting with lots of specialists."
Injured center Joel Embiid playing this season has "never been a consideration," according to Jerry Colangelo.
Mike Gill: Brett Brown: "I'm very, very confident that we will see a healthy Joel Embiid soon." #SixersTalk
Mike Gill: Re: Brett Brown's comment to we'll see Embiid soon, he did say NOT this season - #SixersTalk
Joel Embiid is in the midst of his West Coast rehabilitation plan. The 76ers' sidelined center arrived in Los Angeles on Thursday. Sixers coach Brett Brown said he would stay for a few days, doing on- and off-the-court work. Asked if Embiid's trip to California included a doctor's visit, Brown responded, "Not so much that." "It's all part of that rehab and that plan and path that he is on with David Martin, one of the world's recognized sports scientists," Brown said. Martin is the team's director of health and performance research. "He's created a plan and path. The number of people around Joel Embiid is massive.
Keith Pompey: Joel Embiid is at practice, here talking to #Sixers coach Brett Brown. https://t.co/edKQhJbeZS
League sources say Sixers management was comfortable with the medical information it had on Embiid heading into the 2014 draft. The team attributes Embiid's continued absence (he's likely to miss the entire season again) to subsequent setbacks. Nonetheless, in the third year of Hinkie's rebuilding plan, most of the harvest has yet to come in. Nerlens Noel, the sixth pick in 2013 acquired from New Orleans in the Jrue Holiday trade, missed his entire rookie season but has begun to assert himself as a defensive presence (though not much of an offensive one).
The 76ers consulted physicians from around the country and the world, including specialists from Australia, the Netherlands and Qatar, before Embiid's second surgery. There are no guarantees that this operation will work -- everyone thought the first one would do the trick -- but Embiid at least is staying on top of his conditioning, after numerous stories came out during the summer about his being out of shape. "He just seems like (there's) a new level of maturity, a new level of seriousness in him," a source said. "The gravity of the situation is on him; it's on everyone."
Brown said injured center Joel Embiid is "doing great." "Most importantly, he's doing fantastically in his mind," Brown said. "He is so determined to do everything that he has to, everything that people are telling him that he has to do, to get it right. There is a real progression, I think, in his maturity and his seriousness to understanding truly what needs to be done for him to give himself every chance to get back on the court."
Brian Seltzer: Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who had two navicular bone injuries, a guest of Sixers tonight. https://t.co/NBeOe8qYkz
Christopher A. Vito: Brett Brown said this marks the second time Ilgaukas has met with Embiid. (Both are int'l centers who have endured navicular surgeries.)
Injured center Joel Embiid warmly greeted his teammates in the locker room before the game, lamenting how he keeps getting "sniped" in the video game Call of Duty. Embiid, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, is missing his second straight season with right foot surgery. He was wearing a protective boot on the foot Monday.
Derek Bodner: Former #sixers guard Michael Carter-Williams @Michael Carter-Williams): "I wouldn't say [Joel Embiid] didn't take his rehab seriously": soundcloud.com/siriusxmnba/mi…
According to the article, published Friday morning, Embiid physically threatened the team's strength coach last season, causing Embiid to be sent home from a West Coast road trip. The report said Embiid, 21, repeatedly refused to answer questions by the training staff about his workouts as he rehabs from two surgeries on his right foot. "It's just one of those things that we move on from," Brown said before a 127-118 preseason loss to Washington at the Wells Fargo Center on Friday night. "We're pretty much treating it as noise. We will move on from it."
The report said that owner Josh Harris instructed Brown and general manager Sam Hinkie to keep Embiid from attending the Las Vegas Summer League. Brown said that was not true. Embiid, the article said, was "determined to go to Vegas to party."
The fact that Brown sent Embiid home from a West Coast road trip last season for being insubordinate to the team’s strength coach and training staff is well documented, but according to a source, the tipping point in the decision was Embiid physically threatening the strength coach on that road trip. According to sources, this followed a pattern of insubordination from Embiid during the rehabilitation of his initial foot injury that sidelined him for the entire 2014–15 season, where he would repeatedly refuse to answer questions from the training staff about his workouts and therapy sessions.
Max Rapaport: Hinkie says original fracture site was improving month by month before CT scan showed less healing early in summer; no symptoms of re-break. In other words, Hinkie says Joel Embiid didn’t re-break his navicular bone. Less healing than expected was cause for second procedure.
Steve Kyler: Interesting comment from 76ers source on Joel Embiid rehab 76ers "not worried about next ten months, more concerned about next ten years". 76ers stance on rehab is that a conservative and complete rehab schedule will be followed, no corners will be cut, no artificial timelines
There was no immediate word from the Sixers and general manager Sam Hinkie didn't respond to a text message. It's unclear where the surgery was performed. The Sixers sent out a release July 11 saying Embiid would have a bone graft “in the next seven to 10 days.” Embiid is expected to sit out the 2015-16 season.
Sixers center Joel Embiid had successful foot surgery on Tuesday, according to a league source. The source described the surgery as "all good."
Joel Embiid: EVERYTHING WENT REALLY WELL..... Excited for the future #BELIEVE #JE21 #Sixers http://instagram.com/p/6ii7VkFrvL/
The $9 million the Philadelphia 76ers ownership will pay Joel Embiid in his first two years, even though he has not played an NBA game, will come out of their pockets. Although Embiid's contract is insured, since it is among the five highest salaries on the team, sources say Embiid's right foot was excluded from the policy because it was a pre-existing injury.
Marc J. Spears: Joel Embiid, who will have Kevin Durant type foot surgery Tuesday, made classy move by attending Sixers asst. @LloydPierceLP wedding Friday.
Joel Embiid has not yet undergone a second surgery on his right foot, sources close to the situation told CSNPhilly.com, however, that procedure is still scheduled to take place and Embiid is still expected to miss the upcoming 2015-16 season. In early July, the Philadelphia Inquirer first reported that Embiid will require another surgery to address the navicular bone injury in his right foot. The team confirmed that report in a statement and said it anticipated “the procedure will take place in the next 7-10 days.” That was nearly a month ago, and Embiid has yet to have the surgery.
The holdup has led to speculation in the media. When asked about the delay, one source said it was partly because Embiid -- who is 21 and who, according to president/general manager Sam Hinkie, has been pain-free -- was coming to terms with the decision. The source indicated that Embiid and his confidants wanted more time to review the matter and select a doctor. A doctor has been chosen, though the source declined to provide that information.
The source said Embiid also reached out to Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant. The Thunder star underwent a bone graft on his right foot in late March. That surgery was performed at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, home to one of at least 12 doctors the Sixers and Embiid have so far consulted about Embiid’s hyper-complicated situation.
What is going on with Joel Embiid and his impending surgery? For some reason, the 76ers aren't telling. Numerous texts and phone calls to president and general manager Sam Hinkie and others in the organization by the Daily News have gotten no response as the time frame the team set for Embiid's second surgery on his injured right foot has passed by nearly a month.
When and how this most recent injury happened is still a mystery. Since the season ended and up until the June 13 statement, a source said Embiid was working out daily at the team's practice facility. When asked if he was playing five-on-five, the source said no, but "only because there weren't enough people to play five-on-five. He was playing very meaningful games of three-on-three and was doing fullcourt workouts. He is pretty much a full go." Words used to describe Embiid's play were "dominant" and "explosive."
Could Embiid be waiting for the surgery? Is the Sixers’ potential franchise center trying to avoid a second operation after having two screws inserted into his navicular bone on his foot 13½ months ago, which caused him to miss his rookie campaign? Did Embiid already have surgery? Is he recuperating in Los Angeles or someplace else? The answer to these and other questions is: your guess is as good as mine. If the Sixers know, they’re not saying. The fans want to — and deserve to — know.
“I knew about it before [it was announced]; we talked about it a few weeks ago,” Okafor said of Embiid’s injury. “It’s unfortunate, but I’m here for him. I know he’s definitely disappointed. I’m just going to be there for him and play for him as well. … It doesn’t [change my role]. My role is to dominate. I’m one of the centerpieces of this team, so my role is the same.”
Of course, there is the impending surgery on Joel Embiid's right foot, which should be any day. Sources have confirmed to the Daily News that the navicular bone in his right foot was rebroken.
Hinkie said the Sixers consulted with experts from five states, as well as Australia, the Netherlands and Qatar. The Sixers are concerned this could be career-threatening, a source told Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Embiid had two screws inserted into the navicular bone in his foot to repair a stress fracture in June 2014. He was projected to miss five to nine months, but didn't play in the 2014-15 season and never even scrimmaged 5-on-5.
John R. Finger: league source confirms the report from @Keith Pompey. Embiid to have surgery. Could miss another season.
76ers center Joel Embiid will likely miss the 2015-16 season. The 7-footer will have a second surgery after the latest setback in the healing of his right foot, according to several NBA sources. The team will decide whether to have it in North Carolina or at the New York Hospital of Special Surgery. “I would say there’s a great possibility that Embiid won’t play next year,” the source said. “Just think how long they sat him when they thought he was healthy.”
The Sixers are planning as if Embiid won’t play this season, sources say. Another source said the franchise is concerned that this setback could be career-threatening. The Sixers are expected to release a statement about Embiid’s immediate future. It could come as early as next week.
The 76ers have yet to decide on Joel Embiid's playing status due still acquiring information in regards to the healing process of his right foot. “No change as of yet,” Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie said Thursday. “A number of meetings are happening about that, even one today. But we have meeting almost every day about that. We don’t not have anything ready to announce.”
The 76ers are close to making a decision that will dictate center Joel Embiid's immediate and long-term future, general manager Sam Hinkie said in a news conference Friday morning. Hinkie said that another surgery has not been ruled out as an option, and that he can't see Embiid playing in either of the Sixers' two summer league teams.
76ers CEO Scott O'Neil said on the Breakfast on Broad show Friday that three more doctors will evaluate the latest setback in the healing of Joel Embiid's right foot. "We're still waiting," O'Neil said. "We have another three doctors to come see him. The nice thing about jobs like these – you can literally get the best experts in the world. All you have to do is call and they love to see us." He added that the franchise could get an answer about the 7-foot center's future in "a couple of weeks."
Self also took the time to draw a distinction between a “setback,” and what Embiid has been told. “By no means, from what [Embiid] has told us, ‘slow down’ does not mean major setback. It means they’re gonna give it a little bit more time to heal before they put him in stressful situations.”
On Monday, Embiid’s college coach, Bill Self, addressed the media and discussed what he knows about the latest chapter in his former pupil’s story. Benton Smith of KUSports shared some of Self’s comments on Embiid. “Basically, he’s been working out and everything, and the doctor told him, based on doing the MRIs or X-rays or whatever they do, even though it feels better, it doesn’t look like it’s made the progress they would hope at this stage, so they were gonna slow him down,” Self told the media.
76ers center Joel Embiid may not be available to play at the start of the NBA season after the latest setback in the healing of his right foot, an NBA source said Sunday. There's also a legitimate chance that the 7-footer could miss the entire season.
Since the season ended, the 7-foot, 250-pounder has been at the team's practice facility working out almost daily. He hasn't played five-on-five, simply because teammates scattered after the season and not enough are in town. Even so, a source said that Embiid has been working out very hard and playing "meaningful" half-court games. The source said that Embiid was a "full go" and has looked "shockingly good" in workouts.
John Gonzalez: League source: Too early to know one way or other if Joel Embiid will require surgery. Sixers still gathering info. Hasn’t been ruled out. To be clear, it’s possible Joel Embiid won’t require surgery. But told nothing ruled out while team gathers info/consults specialists
Jeff Skversky: Joel Embiid's right foot will NOT require a second surgery an NBA Source close to the #Sixers center tells @6abc
Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, the third overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft who missed his rookie season with injury, suffered a setback in the healing process of his right foot, league sources told Yahoo Sports. 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.
November 27, 2022 | 8:51 pm EST Update
Kendra Andrews: Klay Thompson: “Adversity is the best thing for a team. We had that early on. We have a lot of guys who thrive off the naysayers or those who say you cant do something. I think we are hitting our stride, but there is so much basketball left.”
CJ Holmes: Draymond Green on Jonathan Kuminga’s impact in recent games: “It’s beautiful. You felt the impact. I know we’ve 100% felt and seen the impact. And the reality is, what it boils down to is energy, effort and attention to detail when you’re a young guy.”