The Philadelphia 76ers’ standout player Joel Embiid, currently the reigning league MVP, is slated to undergo a procedure to address a left meniscus injury in the upcoming days, as announced by the team on Sunday night. Sources close to ESPN revealed that there remains a possibility of Embiid returning to play this season, although it is uncertain.
While Embiid is anticipated to be sidelined for an extended period, a precise timeline for his recovery is contingent upon the completion of the medical procedure, sources added.
This injury is particularly untimely for both Embiid and the Sixers, given his outstanding performance this season. As the NBA’s leading scorer with an average of 35.3 points per game, Embiid was on track to achieve a rare statistical milestone, potentially joining Wilt Chamberlain as the only other player to average at least 35 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists in a single season. Additionally, he holds the distinction of being the sole player, besides Chamberlain in 1961-62, to maintain a scoring rate of at least one point per minute played.
Embiid, who is 29 years old, has previously dealt with injuries to both knees during his career. This latest injury adds to his medical history, with a prior season-ending surgery on his left meniscus during the 2016-17 season, which resulted in him missing 37 games. Notably, his remarkable 22-game streak of scoring at least 30 points was halted in a recent game against the Golden State Warriors, during which he sustained the meniscus injury in the fourth quarter following a collision with Warriors forward Jonathan Kuminga.
The absence of Embiid has posed challenges for the 76ers, as evidenced by their struggle in games without him, losing 10 out of 14 contests this season. With a record of 30-18, the team currently ranks fifth in the Eastern Conference, but boasts an impressive 26-8 record when Embiid is on the court.
Regrettably, Embiid’s limited playing time this season will likely prevent him from meeting the league’s minimum requirement of 65 games to be eligible for postseason awards, as he remains at 34 games played.
Contributions to this report were provided by ESPN Stats & Information.