The news all Sixers fans have been dreading might just be coming true. According to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Sixers center Joel Embiid will be having a second surgery, and could miss the entire 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.
Embiid, who spent one season at Kansas before declaring for the draft, had surgery in June of 2014 to repair a fractured navicular bone, and was given an initial recovery timeline of 4-6 months. He had a reported setback in March, but just one week later was given the green light from his surgeon, Dr. Frankel, to ramp up his activity.
In June, the Sixers announced that a CT scan revealed Embiid's foot "less healing than anticipated at this point", and Philadelphia opted to shut him down.
Fast forward to now, the Cameroonian native is facing his second surgery in two years, and zero NBA games under his belt. It's heartbreaking on multiple levels, both for Embiid and the fans, as he had shown the potential coming out of school to be a franchise changing player.
Pompey's report makes it seem as though there's an outside chance he does play in the season, so that's something to cling onto. But at this point, it might be time to come to grips with Embiid possibly never suiting up for Philadelphia.
The team is expected to make a formal announcement at some point next week.