76ers Star Center Joel Embiid Out for Remainder of the Season
The Philadelphia 76ers announced Wednesday that star center Joel Embiid will miss the remainder of the regular season. An MRI revealed that the meniscus tear in Embiid’s left knee “appears more pronounced.”
Embiid had been out for the last several games dealing with knee swelling and soreness. He has not played in a game since January 27th and was already sidelined indefinitely.
This news comes just a few days after the Sixers announced that former No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons will also miss the entire season as he continues to recover from a broken foot suffered during training camp.
Embiid’s Dominant Rookie Campaign
Embiid stormed onto the scene this year after missing each of his first two NBA seasons with knee and back issues. Philadelphia took Embiid No. 3 overall back in the 2014 draft, but he was unable to appear in an NBA game until earlier this season.
In the 31 games he did play, Embiid averaged 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game. The team imposed a strict minutes limit on him all season long, and he did not play in both halves of back-to-back situations as a precaution.
Sixers president Brian Colangelo issued a statement on Embiid:
“Our primary objective and focus remains to protect his long-term health and ability to perform on the basketball court. As our medical team and performance staff continue their diligence in the evaluation, treatment and rehabilitation of Joel’s injury, we will provide any pertinent updates when available.”
Rookie of the Year?
It will be interesting to see whether Embiid did enough to win the Rookie of the Year award. He has statistically blown away the rest of this rookie class, but some voters will surely dock points from him due to his only appearing in 31 games of the Sixers’ 82 games.
However, no other player has come close to Embiid’s impact on both ends of the floor. His teammate, Dario Saric, likely has the best claim to the prize if it doesn’t wind up going to Embiid.
Saric is averaging 11.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, but he has really upped his play in recent weeks. Over the last eight games, the former lottery pick is averaging 20.4 points and 8.8 rebounds per game on nearly 50 percent shooting from the field.
Embiid’s presence helped the Sixers to their most promising season in several years. Philly is 22-37 on the season entering play on Wednesday, though they have already won 12 more games than they did all of last season.
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