The Details on the Joel Embiid Injury
Health has always been a major consideration for the potential of Joel Embiid. This was certainly known when the 76ers selected him with the third overall pick in the 2014 NBA draft. It was widely understood that he’d only dropped that far as a result of a foot injury, one that would keep him sidelined for the first two seasons of his career. But Embiid was not to be the next Greg Oden. While he will clearly never be mistaken for an ironman who plays every contest, or even someone known for health and conditioning, the big man has still managed to play upwards of fifty games in each of the past three seasons.
The Sixers saw their season flash before their eyes when Embiid landed awkwardly during last Friday night’s matchup with the Washington Wizards. A lob from teammate Tobias Harris turned into a thunderous dunk, a play that has become incredibly routine for the Sixers this season. Yet Embiid’s full weight came down on his left leg causing it to hyperextend. After staying down for a few minutes and grimacing, Embiid was able to walk back to the locker room under his own power.
The immediate fear for the Sixers fans and organization alike was that Embiid had suffered a torn ACL or meniscus. Thankfully, the results of an MRI reveal that there was no structural damage to the knee that had been hyperextended. Rather, the official diagnosis is a bone bruise, one that will keep Embiid sidelined from game action for at least two weeks, when he will be reevaluated.
The news is a huge sigh of relief for the Sixers. The team is more than competent enough to stay afloat while Embiid recovers, particularly due to the defense of Ben Simmons and resurgent play of Tobias Harrris. It is the playoff where the Sixers need Embiid locked and loaded. He presents a matchup nightmare for every single opponent in the league, as evidenced by his MVP campaign prior to this injury.
In their first full game without Embiid, the Sixers cruised to a whopping 35 point victory over the San Antonio Spurs. The sledding likely won’t be so smooth during the multiple weeks without their star player, but Philadelphia has to be overjoyed this injury wasn’t anything more serious.