Following a report from Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer on Saturday afternoon, the Sixers confirmed the news that the 21-year-old Embiid would indeed undergo surgery on his right foot yet again, in an announcement Saturday night.
“As we previously communicated, we have spent the last several weeks working closely with Joel and his representatives to further evaluate Joel's foot following the results of the most recent CT scan," Sixers General Manager Sam Hinkie said in a statement. "This included conference calls and in-person visits with renowned foot and ankle specialists from the United States (New York, North Carolina, Colorado, California and Pennsylvania) and internationally (Australia, the Netherlands and Qatar). This group of experts unanimously agreed that the routine CT scan in June did reveal less healing than anticipated, an unexpected result since Joel was not experiencing any foot pain."
"We have been consistent in our philosophy that our focus will be Joel’s long-term health and wellness to ensure he will have a long and impactful career in the NBA," he continued. "After receiving the input of the aforementioned medical experts, as well as conversations with Joel and his representatives, there was careful consideration given to a number of options related to this particular situation. A collective decision has been made that the best approach to promote full healing would be to proceed with a bone graft of the fracture site. We anticipate the procedure will take place in the next 7-10 days and result in Joel missing the upcoming season."
The delay in the operation appears to be due to a decision being made on where exactly Embiid will have the surgery.
"We are still in the process of determining the doctor who will perform the procedure, which should be finalized in the coming days," Hinkie said. "Sixers Director of Performance Research and Development Dr. David T. Martin will outline and lead Joel's rehab and recovery plan, in collaboration with a worldwide network of experts and specialists.”
With Embiid out for another full season with a career-threatening injury, the Sixers' drafting of Duke center Jahlil Okafor looks more and more like a wise choice.
The 19-year-old Okafor is expected to be a key cog in the Sixers' rebuilding process much like they had hoped Embiid would be. There is still a chance Embiid can go on to a successful career, but these types of injuries are never good, especially for a 7-footer.
Embiid is scheduled to make in excess of $4 million this year, with the Sixers holding an option for the 2016-2017season at just under $5 million. The money shouldn't necessarily be an issue, however, as the team has plenty of cap space and an ownership group that appears willing to spend to put a contender on the court.
By: Kyle Babcock
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