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Report: Joel Embiid has “minor” meniscus tear

He won’t need surgery and is still day-to-day, according to Derek Bodner.

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Joel Embiid has missed the last nine games due to a left knee injury suffered against the Portland Trail Blazers on Jan. 20. The Sixers have opted to provide little clarity to the extent of his injury, but thanks to Derek Bodner (who you should hire), we now know Embiid is dealing with a torn meniscus.

From Bodner:

Joel Embiid has a torn meniscus in his left knee, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation.

The tear was discovered after Embiid underwent an MRI following a 93-92 victory on January 20th over the Portland Trailblazers. Embiid left the game in the third quarter with a left knee contusion after landing awkwardly following a drive to the basket.

There is some thought that the torn meniscus could be a pre-existing condition which the ensuing MRI discovered, rather than caused by the fall on January 20th, although the two injuries being related has not been completely ruled out.

The tear is a low-grade tear and is not expected to require surgical intervention. It is unclear whether the tear is contributing to the soreness and swelling which has kept Embiid out of 11 of the last 12 games, including the last 8 in a row.

Embiid has been ruled out of tonight’s game against the Miami Heat, and there is a good chance he will remain out through the All-Star break, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

Embiid has been remarkable this season, so the news is an obvious disappointment. If there are any positives to this newfound injury concern for the 22-year-old, it’s that the team doesn’t deem the injury serious, and Bodner mentions that this may be a condition Embiid has dealt with prior to his scary fall against the Trail Blazers.

The team apparently felt like it wouldn’t be an issue that would affect his longterm health, hence why he was allowed to play against the Houston Rockets the following game, but the swelling he’s currently dealing with makes the injury look more serious than they’re leading on.

Frankly, the Sixers’ handling of this situation has been nothing less than bizarre. He’s been on a minutes restriction all year, has been unable to play in back-to-back games, yet the team felt comfortable allowing him to play just two days after finding out he has a tear in his left knee. That doesn’t jive with the “handle with kid gloves” approach they’ve taken all season. General manager Bryan Colangelo’s unwillingness to be up front about the nature of his injury is also a really poor look.

Because Embiid won’t need surgery, the rest of his rookie season doesn’t look to be in doubt as of yet, but there should obviously be some concern here.

Unfortunately, the only thing do in this situation is to Trust The Process.