Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid is expected to undergo a procedure on his injured left knee that will sideline him for an extended period of time, according to multiple reports. Embiid was diagnosed with a displaced flap of the meniscus in his left knee and has opted for a corrective procedure to repair the issue. A more specific timeline is expected after its completion.
Embiid’s specific issue, which is known as a flap tear, is a complex injury and is often treated with a partial menisectomy, per Jeff Stotts, a certified athletic trainer and injury analyst for Rotowire. A partial menisectomy means that a small portion of Embiid’s meniscus would be removed.
The reigning MVP is enjoying the best season of his career but has continued to deal with health issues. He’s missed 14 out of Philadelphia’s 48 games thus far this season, including a marquee matchup against the Denver Nuggets late last month.
The 76ers also held him out of their following game against the Portland Trail Blazers, but cleared him to return against the Golden State Warriors. It was a shaky night on the court for Embiid as he shot just 5-of-18 from the floor, and things went from bad to worse in the fourth quarter when Warriors forward Jonathan Kuminga fell on his leg. Embiid left the game from there and did not return.
Here’s a look at the play where Embiid got hurt:
While individual awards are a lesser concern for the 76ers, it is also worth noting here that basically any meaningful absence will knock Embiid out of the running to win his second consecutive MVP award. The league instituted a new rule this season stating that major award winners must play at least 65 games. Having already missed 14, Embiid will almost certainly be ineligible taking into account his recovery from the procedure.
Needless to say, the 76ers will miss Embiid’s presence. Not only does he lead the league in scoring, but he also has the highest usage rate of any player in the league at 38.6%. Philadelphia has gone 4-10 without him this season.
The 76ers now have even less time to determine its strategy leading up the Feb. 8 trade deadline. They’ve beenthe risks and benefits of an all-in push for this championship, knowing that such an approach could cost them their max cap space this offseason. Embiid’s injury and time off the court could change that calculus.