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More on Joel Embiid Injury

Jessica Camerato: Sixers announced Embiid will not play tomorrow vs. the Heat. He still is out with a left knee contusion.
Phiadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid will miss at least the next two games as he contrinues to recover from a bone bruise in his left knee, the team announced. Embiid, who has missed six straight games and nine of the Sixers' last 10 games, will also not play in Wednesday's game against the San Antonio Spurs and will not travel with the team for Thursday's game at Orlando.
Joel Embiid will miss his fifth consecutive game and his eighth out of the last nine Monday night when the 76ers play the Detroit Pistons. And Sixers coach Brett Brown will say only that the center is expected to return from a left knee bone bruise in the "not-too-distant future."
Brown was asked Sunday if Embiid would be available for Wednesday's game against the San Antonio Spurs at the Wells Fargo Center. "I'm not sure," he said after the afternoon practice at Detroit Country Day School. Is that reason to be concerned? Not according to Brown.
"There's no red flags here," coach Brett Brown said. "It's just us going overboard, making sure we're doing the right thing with what all learning is a very important person in our program."
Keith Pompey: Sixers coach Brett Brown not sure when Joel Embiid will return. His injury is why the team recalled Richaun Holmes from @Sevens.
Derek Bodner: Embiid had an MRI done. Feels great. Says he wanted to play but the team cares about his health first, and they made the right decision.
Before watching the decisive 5-minute extra session unfold, Embiid showed his frustration at the conclusion on the first overtime. The 7-foot-2, 276-pounder kicked a chair on the team bench after the team doctors denied his request to play on. "I respect that," Brown said of Embiid's visible display of frustration. "Very much I respect that. You see how much he wants to help us try to win, how competitive he is. I mean that's a hard life to live, isn't it? [It is] from everybody's perspective, coaches, teammates, Joel's, fans. But it's just the way it is."
Joel Embiid is listed as questionable for Saturday night’s matchup with the Phoenix Suns at the Wells Fargo Center with a mild left ankle sprain. The 76ers center suffered the injury in the first quarter of Thursday’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center. Embiid went to the bench momentary in that game before returning to play. He finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds to post his third double-double of the season. After the game, Embiid said his ankle felt fine.
When Embiid was injured, he did not grant interviews, so he has a lot to say. He speaks with a French accent, in a flowing stream of consciousness, about everything from Cameroon’s educational system to Florida’s topography to Marc Gasol’s jab step. He is engaging, charismatic and funny, but unlike many foreign big men, his humor is intentional. “You know how I learned to shoot?” Embiid says. “I watched white people. Just regular white people. They really put their elbow in and finish up top. You can find videos of them online.”
Last October, the day before the first anniversary of Arthur’s death, The Cauldron ran a distressing story about Embiid’s arduous rehab. Ensuing headlines focused on his exaggerated affection for Shirley Temples. You’d have thought he was chugging Moonshine laced with grenadine. Upset by both timing and content, Embiid considered quitting the NBA and returning to Cameroon, where he could honor his brother in peace. Maybe he’d go back to volleyball, his first chosen sport. His father had warned him about the dangers of hoops. “I wanted to get away from all this drama,” Embiid recalls, “and stay away.” He had been in America for four years and lived in four cities, a hardwood nomad, always moving alone. “I never had a girlfriend before, but back then I had some type of girlfriend."​ Embiid says. “One day I told her my whole story.”
When Embiid clashed with a Sixers strength and conditioning coach during a road trip in late ’14—a source says the staffer set him on a scale one too many times—he was sent back to Philadelphia. “Joel is a maverick,” Brown says. “He’s curious. He’s competitive. Those qualities are going to allow him to maximize his very evident gifts. But when he was out, those qualities sometimes made it a challenge to always walk that Boy Scout’s line.” Brown looked for something to scare Embiid—“Appropriate fear had to creep in,” the coach says. “‘Maybe I’m going to struggle to play basketball. Maybe there isn’t a light at the end of the tunnel’”—and the dreaded MRI did it.
Hinkie was there for Embiid when Arthur died, sitting in his apartment with Brown and Mbah a Moute, then flying him to Cameroon for the funeral. He was there last season, when the Sixers nearly upset the Warriors at Wells Fargo Center, and Embiid stomped excitedly around the suite. He is not there anymore, having resigned in April, but Embiid channels Hinkie every time he references The Process, which occurs nearly every time he opens his mouth. “I think a lot about what I went through and how it prepared me to be a better man,” Embiid says. “I really feel like I’m The Process, like The Process is about me.”
The Sixers will have him on a minutes restriction. Embiid also isn't expected to play on back-to-back nights. They won't know if he'll start at center against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the season-opener until after consulting with the medical staff.
"I'm sure that everyone should have optimism," Colangelo told CSNPhilly.com at the Basketball Hall of Fame. "But there's a word I've always used over the years about optimism. It should be guarded optimism because things take time. When you're building teams — and I've had the privilege of doing that quite a few times in my career — you're adding pieces here and there, and then once in a while you strike out and get that last piece. I think where the Sixers are today is, this is the beginning of that particular process, and that is building what everyone would hope to be a championship team."
"With all of the reports that I've seen and all the footage I've seen in terms of video, it appears that he's headed in the right direction," Colangelo said of Embiid. "I know that everyone's excited about training camp because of all of the new faces. ... The fortunate ability to have the first pick and select Ben Simmons, you put all those new players on paper and to add that to a roster, it's going to be really interesting, exciting to see how it all plays out."
Several weeks later, Embiid linked up with the Sixers in Las Vegas, where he practiced in spurts with players on the summer league squad, and went through individual training and skill development sessions as well. “My summer has been great,” said Embiid, who this off-season has spent time in both Philadelphia and Los Angeles. “We’ve been working on a lot. I’ve got a chance to play a little bit against the guys, so it’s been great.”
The week before the draft, however, news broke that Embiid had sustained a stress fracture in his right foot. Ever since, he and the Sixers have been purposefully and creatively attempting to rehab and manage the injury. “I haven’t played in two years, so...I think I’ll start a little slow,” Embiid allowed. This time last summer, the then-21 year old was only days removed from his second foot surgery, which, of course, subsequently sidelined him for the 2015-2016 campaign.
“He’s a great player, so I’m looking forward to playing with him,” Simmons said. “Off the court we’re like brothers. We have fun.” “I feel 100% and ready to get started,” Embiid said. “My summer’s been great. We’ve been working out a lot.”
After a full year of rehabilitation, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid has been cleared to start light scrimmaging in five-on-five settings, league sources told The Vertical. It is the next step in the process to make his NBA debut in 2016-17.
The 7-foot Embiid has been impressive in his non-contact workouts in recent weeks at the 76ers’ facility, sources said, and the soundness of his problematic right foot should continue to allow him to begin preparations for next season.
"You can see what he's doing on the court," Colangelo said, cocking his head toward Embiid. "It looks like he's getting more fluidity every day. He's done some things competitively, two-on-two and three-on-three in controlled situations, but the word 'controlled' is the key there. Everything's got to be done within the process set forth and the timeline set forth by the doctors."
Ten months later, following a graft surgery that entails a six-month rehabilitation process for most folks, Colangelo announced that Embiid won't be playing with the Sixers' summer league team next month. Of course, most folks aren't 300 pounds and land on a hardwood floor with the impact of a bowling ball dropped from the ceiling. Nevertheless, he isn't cleared to play and nobody really knows if he'll be ready for the winter league, either. "I can't answer that question," Colangelo said. "It's only going to be when the doctors tell me he's ready. Then I'll tell you the answer to that."
"People are just looking for a timeline," Colangelo said. "There's no timeline. But until I hear a doctor tell me 'No summer league,' I will always say anything's open. But the likelihood of him playing summer league is nil. I would only say that because of where he is in the progression right now. But if he makes enough progress and the doctors say he's ready to go there's no reason he shouldn't. But having said that, I would say it's a 99-percent chance, maybe a 100-percent chance, that he's not going to play. We just don't want to put him in a situation where he hasn't been playing competitive basketball. We probably want to ease into that and that would mean sometime after summer league. But if he is going to come into training camp you want him to have at least a little bit of flow and a little bit of rhythm and to be in a position where he could have tested the foot to the extent that he's ultimately going to be exposed in a training-camp environment."
On April 27, Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo said he wouldn't rule it out, though the organization wasn't going to rush the 7-foot-2, 275-pound Embiid back before he's ready. He has repeated a similar stance in recent weeks. But an NBA source Thursday called it "unlikely" that Embiid would participate in the Utah Jazz Summer League from July 4-7 or the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas from July 8-18.
The source said Embiid playing less than 11 months after bone graft surgery on his right foot wasn't "practical." The last thing the Sixers want is Embiid experiencing a setback that could jeopardize or delay his regular-season debut. Embiid has missed his first two pro seasons due to a pair of foot surgeries. Embiid, who was expected to begin playing 2-on-2 this week, remains optimistic that he'll be ready for the start of the 2016-17 season.
Brett Brown mentioned that just a few days ago, he conducted an on-court session involving Joel Embiid. “He’s moving well,” said Brown. “I think his spirit’s fantastic. Everything is looking great right now. I’m thrilled for him, he deserves it, he put in the time, and I thought he looked good in the workout the other day.”
Bryan Colangelo provided additional comments on Embiid’s status, saying, “[Embiid] has been on the court, working out slowly and methodically getting back to the point where he’s going to be ready for some five-on-five type competition. At what point, I’m not sure yet, but he looks terrific in his drill work. He’s coming along. That’s not to get over-hyped about it. It’s just to say he’s progressing well, and that’s encouraging for all of us.”
Colangelo hasn't ruled out Embiid playing summer league ball in July, which would be 11 months after his second straight season-ending right foot surgery. "It's an evolving process," Colangelo said. "We hope to get to the point where we get him healthy, ready and prepared to play basketball. At some point, people will be very happy to see him in a uniform. I do not want to try to speed that up. I can tell you he's been handled the right way, based on what I can tell. It seems like he's moving in the right direction every day. The good news is he's in Philadelphia and we can have daily contact. He's got a very regimented, planned-out schedule."
Colangelo expects Embiid to spend the bulk of the offseason here, though Embiid could head out to his U.S. home base of Los Angeles once or twice.
Tom Moore: Joel Embiid is back from Qatar. #Sixers #NBA https://t.co/QGgDUJq59v
Tom Moore: Embiid seems to be moving a little quicker than before he went to Qatar. Hunched over a lot (appears a bit winded). #Sixers
It looks like Sixers center Joel Embiid has time for a little bit of fun in between his rehab sessions. Embiid returned to world renowned private hospital Aspetar in Qatar over a week ago to continue his training for the 2016-17 NBA season, and apparently ran into PSG midfielder Javier Pastore. Paris St. Germain has an agreement with Aspetar to be the official medical partner of the club until the end of next season. Seeing as how soccer was Embiid's first love, it was only right that the two kicked it around a little bit.
If Embiid is spending two weeks in Qatar, as reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer, that'd give him only 1 1/2 weeks to spend with the Sixers prior to the April 13 season finale in Chicago. "He hasn't had any development," said an NBA source. "He has not been around the team or a winning culture." The source believes the trips to Qatar could indicate "there's something wrong" with Embiid, though a second source denied that is the case. "You don't send somebody to Qatar just to get a checkup," said an NBA source prior to the news coming out that Embiid had gone back.
Tom Moore: #Sixers Brett Brown: Joel Embiid hasn't had a setback, then says 'How about Villanova?'
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.
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."
Storyline: Joel Embiid Injury
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