Joel Embiid Return: Medical Expert Drops Massive Bomb on 76ers’ Title Hopes

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Jan 25, 2024; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) looks on in the first half against the Indiana Pacers at Gainbridge Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Part of ‘The Process’ is the end. Joel Embiid’s 2023-24 MVP aspirations have hit a roadblock. The Philadelphia 76ers declare that Embiid will undergo surgery to address his left meniscus issues. Dealing with persistent knee problems because of swelling, Embiid’s situation intensified with a Jonathan Kuminga collision, necessitating the medical procedure. So far, the team has cited to update further post-surgery.
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However, the prospect of surgery has left fans anxious about the potential premature end to Embiid’s stellar season. Discussing the matter, former NFL team head doctor David J. Chao delves into the potential scenarios. Chao suggests that if the procedure involves a “true repair with sutures,” it spells the end for Embiid, encompassing both the regular season and playoffs. However, if the medical team opts to “fix the tear of the problem,” there might be hope for a faster recovery. Yet, considering the nature of the injury and Embiid’s history with meniscus surgeries, Chao leans towards the pessimistic view, asserting that it is “more likely the end of his season, including playoffs than not.”
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Adding to the analysis, Chao hinted at the Philadelphia 76ers playing a crucial role in determining Embiid’s return. He emphasized that the recovery journey could significantly impact Joel’s long-term prospects both in the league and beyond. With that, he then expressed his sentiments, urging the 76ers to make the right decisions for Embiid’s future.
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In this ongoing season, Embiid has dominated the league in scoring for the third consecutive time. So far, he has played in 34 out of Philadelphia’s 48 games. Now, with surgery and the new rules, his back-to-back MVP dreams are over, Moreover, it is also the demise of any other season award for Joel Embiid.
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What is next for Philly without Joel Embiid?
In the 14 games without Embiid, the Sixers struggled, posting a 4-10 record. While the squad remains unaffected by the ineligibility for season awards, Embiid’s absence undeniably impacts their performance. Presently, with a 30-18 overall record and the fifth spot in the conference, the 76ers are leaning towards the play-in journey rather than the contender status.
Nevertheless, the Sixers would want to climb the standings and ensure they are in the best possible position. Additionally, there is a collective hope for Embiid’s mid-season return to reclaim his MVP form, although the challenges ahead are acknowledged.
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In the absence of Embiid, Tyrese Maxey is expected to shoulder a heavier load, having already demonstrated promise with two 50-point games this season. Tobias Harris is poised to elevate from a third-piece contributor to a reliable scoring option. Furthermore, as Nick Nurse orchestrates the rebounding charge within the team, Embiid’s void will extend to a significant playmaking gap. This necessitates increased ball-sharing responsibilities for the team more than ever before.

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