The Sixers have to be holding their breath. Longtime Sixers reporter Derek Bodner reported Saturday that franchise centerpiece Joel Embiid has suffered a torn mensicus. General Manager Bryan Colangelo confirmed the report later to reporters. From Bodner's report:
Joel Embiid has a torn meniscus in his left knee, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation. The tear was discovered after Embiid underwent an MRI following a 93-92 victory on January 20th over the Portland Trail Blazers. Embiid left the game in the third quarter with a left knee contusion after landing awkwardly following a drive to the basket.
There is some thought that the torn meniscus could be a pre-existing condition which an ensuing MRI discovered, rather than caused by the fall on Jan. 20, although the two injuries being related has not been completely ruled out. The tear is a low-grade tear and is not expected to require surgical intervention. It is unclear whether the tear is contributing to the soreness and swelling which has kept Embiid out of 11 of the last 12 games, including the last 8 in a row.
Embiid was ruled out of Saturday night's game against the Miami Heat, and there is a good chance he will remain out through the All-Star break, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
There will be a lot of talk about how this isn't that big of a deal, and everything will be OK, but it's concerning. Bear in mind that none of Embiid's prior injuries were knee injuries. He had problems with stress fractures in his foot and back. Suffering any sort of serious knee injury would only add to a worrisome injury history in his young career.
But in the short term, it's fine. The Sixers are already the best they've been in four years, they can be patient with Embiid's return, and will still get yet another great draft pick this year. Embiid's meniscus tear is something to keep an eye on and be wary of, but not reason for panic, yet.
Embiid was captured on video at a Meek Mill concert on Friday night, which of course has prompted people to suggest he should not have been dancing with the injury, as if that was going to exacerbate it. The dancing controversy is nonsensical and should be ignored beyond this brief mention.
We'll see what happens. The good news is that Ben Simmons should join the team sometime in the coming weeks.