It’s been a long time since we’ve heard anything about Joel Embiid. The last time we saw the Philadelphia 76ers’ center, he was hinting that Ben Simmons passing out of an open dunk cost the Sixers a game 7 and, ostensibly, a playoff series. It wasn’t just any playoff series. The Sixers blew consecutive leads of at least eighteen points. They lost both games. An incredibly successful regular season rewarded the Sixers with the 1-seed in the Eastern Conference. They were bounced by the 5-seed Atlanta Hawks. They lost in the second round for the third time in four seasons.
It wasn’t just a painful upset for the Sixers, as a team, though. Falling woefully short of expectations was particularly painful for Embiid. The star center powered through a torn right meniscus. He didn’t do it just because he’s a competitor. He did it because he believed his team had a chance to win a title. The failure was perhaps as painful on Embiid’s body as it was on his mind.
Surgery Or Physical Therapy?
As the team faded into the offseason, the plan for treating Embiid’s knee was logically added to the agenda for the offseason. Sources told The Painted Lines that the injury, in its immediate state, does not require surgery. Embiid would like to avoid undergoing a surgical procedure. While those are both strong indicators against surgery, The Painted Lines could not confirm whether or not medical procedure is or will be part of the plan.
The plan, if not surgery, would be to treat the meniscus injury with physical therapy. Embiid has not taken this injury lightly, of course. When the injury first occurred, he sought additional opinions from a number of doctors. That isn’t a surprise, either. In order to ensure accurate diagnoses and develop proper treatment plans, athletes and teams across professional sports consult with numerous experts when injuries such as torn meniscuses occur.
“We are not concerned about him medically at all.”
When asked for clarity on whether or not Embiid needed surgery following last night’s NBA draft, President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey left it short–“He has a plan and he looks great.”
“Joel has been in the gym. He was in the gym today [Thursday], working on his game. He has a plan with our medical staff, and we feel good about it and we are not concerned about him medically at all,” Morey said.
Regardless of the path traveled, it appears to be good news for the state of Embiid’s knee. Sources said that the injury was not as serious as fans and viewers speculated it to be. Of course, Embiid should take the time needed to heal his body. But as we transition from July to August, fans can rest assured that recovery has already begun and there is a course of action in place to make sure that he is healthy.
It is unknown how much time, if any, Embiid is expected to need to recover. The Sixers would obviously like to hit the ground running and have him available for training camp and the start of the season. It will be important to have the whole team together with there finally being some real practice time. It is also necessary for Embiid to continue building chemistry with his teammates–especially if there are significant changes to the roster.