The Sixers are leaving nothing to chance, and Joel Embiid will reportedly undergo surgery to fix the torn meniscus in his left knee, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein.
Here’s it is in all its vague glory, with one reported detail worth noting (bold emphasis mine):
Sources told ESPN.com that Embiid and the Sixers have been extensively exploring treatment options in the wake of a partially torn meniscus and bone bruise in Embiid's left knee that he suffered in a January practice.
A recovery timetable won't be established, sources said, until after the procedure.
The assertion regarding when Embiid suffered the injury — assuming Stein indeed has this correct — would be an absolutely huge deal, if true. Bryan Colangelo initially claimed the team was unaware of whether the meniscus was previously damaged or not when he suffered the bone bruise against the Portland Trailblazers on January 20th. If the injuries stem from a January practice instead, the franchise has some explaining to do.
UPDATE: A team source told Liberty Ballers that the practice claim was inaccurate. Stein’s story has since been updated to acknowledge the injury was suffered during the Blazers game.
Back to your regularly-scheduled, surgery-related doom and gloom!
This was the outcome most of Philadelphia came to expect, after Embiid visited with specialists in California amidst weeks of silence on his health timeline. Rather than hope his problem will heal with rest, the team that has so often stressed patience and caution (at least in theory) will go that route once again.
Even if the wait and see, rest and recovery approach was a viable option, it’s hard to say whether that would have been smart for Embiid specifically. He already has a checkered medical history, so if the choice is between repairing it with a procedure and relying on his body’s inherent ability to heal, the answer seems obvious.
The Sixers need to evaluate if anyone involved in the process to rehab Jahlil Okafor’s meniscus after surgery last March should have any say in Embiid’s path forward. Okafor is still dealing with problems a year later for what is typically a 6-8 week injury recovery, and we shouldn’t be having the same doubts about Embiid’s knee in August, let alone this time next year.
Hopefully the team is able to get Embiid fixed up sooner rather than later, so that he, Ben Simmons, and the rest of the gang can hit the ground running next season.