The Philadelphia 76ers may have to wait another year before Joel Embiid suits up.
Sources told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the 7-footer will require a second surgery on the right foot that caused him to miss all of last season. The Sixers fear Embiid’s career could be in jeopardy, and are preparing for him not to play in the 2015-16 season.
“I would say there’s a great possibility that Embiid won’t play next year,” the source said. “Just think how long they sat him when they thought he was healthy.”
Though the Sixers weren’t expected to contend in the Eastern Conference next season, losing Embiid is still a significant blow. A talented and athletic big man, Embiid was expected to man a Philadelphia front court that already featured the promising Nerlens Noel and was welcoming No. 3 overall pick Jahlil Okafor into the fold this year.
While he sat out last season, reports surfaced that the Sixers were worried about Embiid’s conditioning and weight while he rehabbed from the first surgery. But later videos would surface of Embiid participating in practices and flashing his considerable abilities.
Last month the team revealed Embiid had suffered a setback in his recovery, but hadn't decided whether or not he would have a second surgery. The Inquirer reported the Sixers are now trying to determine whether Embiid will have the operation in North Carolina or the New York Hospital for Special Surgery.
After one stellar but injury marred year in Kansas, Philadelphia selected Embiid with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 draft despite the first injury to his foot that required surgery prior to the draft.