PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania – Joel Embiid, star of the Philadelphia 76ers and the reigning league MVP, is facing a left meniscus injury and will undergo a procedure in the coming days, the team announced on Sunday night. Sources have indicated that a return this season is not entirely ruled out for Embiid.
The All-Star center, leading the NBA in scoring with 35.3 points per game, is now expected to miss an extended period of time. This is a significant setback for Embiid and the Sixers, especially considering his outstanding performance this season. He was on track to join Wilt Chamberlain as the only player to average at least 35 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists in an NBA season.
This injury is not the first time Embiid has had knee trouble. He previously missed a game in the 2021 first-round playoff series due to a small meniscus tear in his right knee and underwent season-ending surgery on his left meniscus in 2016-2017. Losing him has proven to be a struggle for the Sixers, who have lost 10 of 14 games without him this season, compared to their 26-8 record with him on the floor.
In a game against the Golden State Warriors, a streak of 30-plus point games by Embiid came to an end when he sustained the meniscus injury in the fourth quarter after an opposing player fell on his knee. This comes as a blow to the 76ers, who are currently fifth in the Eastern Conference.
Unfortunately, Embiid will fall short of the league’s 65-game minimum to qualify for postseason awards, as he has only played 34 games so far this season. The team will have to find ways to compensate for his absence as they continue to navigate their way through the season.
As updates on Embiid’s condition come in, the Sixers will have to recalibrate their strategy and make the necessary adjustments to remain competitive without their star player.