Sixers’ Embiid suffers apparent setback in recovery

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE In this photo from Feb. 24, 2014, Kansas center Joel Embiid plays against Oklahoma in a game in Lawrence, Kansas. Embiid would go third to the Sixers in the draft four months later, but hasn’t played a game since then.

Nearly one year after the Sixers took him with the third overall pick in the draft, Joel Embiid seems no closer to playing.

According to a statement by Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie, Embiid’s right foot, part of his run of injury luck that moved the team to sit him out his entire rookie season, was found to have “less healing than anticipated” in a recent medical examination in Los Angeles. Hinkie did not say this is a setback, but it certainly sounded that way.

The story was first reported by Saturday night. Hinkie’s statement appeared shortly thereafter.

“As part of the conservative approach focused on the long-term health, recovery and care of Joel, we have been closely monitoring his progress, regularly evaluating his status and adjusting our plans accordingly,” Hinkie said. “Recently Joel and Sixers personnel traveled to Los Angeles for a series of routine exams with a number of physicians who have been actively involved throughout this process. During his visit with Dr. Richard Ferkel, a standard CT scan on Joel’s right foot revealed less healing than anticipated at this point.”

Embiid was expected to take part in the Sixers’ summer league in July, but that plan is likely on hold. Hinkie offered no timetable on the recovery process now for the 21-year-old seven-foot center.

Embiid’s foot injury was originally a stress fracture suffered just prior to the draft last June. At the time, the Kansas big man was the favorite to go No. 1 overall, but would subsequently fall to third to the Sixers, who were fresh off providing Nerlens Noel with a season-long recovery period from injury.

“Our priority remains providing Joel with every opportunity to ensure he has a long and successful NBA career, and as such, these findings cause us to pause and reassess his current activities,” Hinkie said. “Together with Joel and his representatives, we will continue to consult with the experienced team of doctors who have been an integral part of his evaluations, while also engaging in dialogue with a broader set of experts and specialists.”

comments powered by Disqus