Joel Embiid has knee surgery, dampening 76ers' playoff hopes

In a decision that could have long-term implications for the Philadelphia 76ers and their franchise, NBA MVP Joel Embiid will undergo surgery to repair a lateral meniscus injury in his left knee, the team announced Sunday. Embiid's recovery timeline has yet to be determined, but he is expected to be sidelined for a significant amount of time.

Jan. 30 in the 76ers' loss to the Golden State Warriors, Embiid suffered a meniscus injury when Jonathan Cuminga fell on his leg during a scramble for a loose ball. Over the next two games in Philadelphia, he explored his treatment options.

The setback complicates the 76ers' hopes of making a deep postseason run and effectively eliminates Embiid from the MVP race; Season-end award candidates must appear in 65 games to be eligible.

Embiid, who is averaging 35.3 points, 11.3 rebounds and 5.7 assists, has already missed 14 games entering Monday's game and will not meet the minimum game requirement if he misses four more games, which will take place on Saturday.

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Embiid's injury could have a major impact on Philadelphia's trade deadline strategy and offseason aspirations — even if he is able to return before the playoffs begin in mid-April. While the 76ers were considered potential buyers following James Harden's October trade to the Los Angeles Clippers, if Embiid's health remains unclear, they should weigh the logic of investing draft assets in short-term additions.

The 76ers, who have lost in the second round of the playoffs in each of the last three seasons, are hoping to reach the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 2001. However, Philadelphia (30-18) has dropped to fifth place. In the wake of Embiid's injury, the Eastern Conference and its fate is directly tied to the existence of its franchise.

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Embiid has appeared in 34 of 48 games this season: Philadelphia is 26-8 with him in the lineup and 4-10 without him. 76 players no. 6's Indiana have a 3½-game lead over the Pacers, but being forced to manage without Embiid for an extended period of time reduces their chances of a first-round series and could drop them out of the East play-in race.

The 76ers and Embiid are likely to proceed with caution given the center's long injury history, which included a torn meniscus in his left knee that required season-ending surgery in 2017 and a small lateral meniscus tear in his right knee that sidelined him for one game. During the 2021 playoffs.

Embiid's hopes of winning a third straight scoring title are also in jeopardy. Feb. Assuming Embiid can't return in time to fill his Eastern Conference starting spot in the All-Star Game on 18, NBA commissioner Adam Silver will have to name an injury replacement.

Branches of this wound can be carried in summer; The 7-footer expressed interest in playing for the United States in the Paris Olympics. USA Basketball announced last month that Embiid was one of 41 candidates to make the 12-man roster for the Games, which begin in July, but will face a decision about whether to compete or take additional rest and recovery time before 2024. -25 season.

Deciding to undergo knee surgery on Sunday, Jan. 25

Although Embiid was not listed on Philadelphia's injury report before Nikola Jokic's matchup with the Denver Nuggets on Jan. 27, he was scratched late in the pregame workout. Embiid left Philadelphia's next game against the Portland Trail Blazers on January 29 with a “sore left knee” before scoring a season-low 14 points against the Warriors with a left knee injury. The NBA announced on Feb. 1 that the 76 players were fined $75,000 for failing to list Embiid on an “accurate and timely” injury report for the Nuggets game.

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