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Joel Embiid has two screws placed in foot, agent confident he can play in NBA after healing

Jun 20, 2014, 4:50 PM EDT

Joel Embiid Joel Embiid

For his sake, let’s hope Joel Embiid’s surgery was not only successful but that in a year or so he shows no effects from it.

Embiid went under the knife on Friday to repair a stress fracture in the navicular bone of his right foot.

His agent says it went as well as could be expected, here are the tweets via Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

Your instinct here is right according to medical professionals — the more screws used, the worse the long-term prognosis. One would have been ideal, but it could have been worse at three or more.

Recovery is expected to take 4-6 months officially. My guess? Whoever drafts Embiid is going to do the same thing the Clippers did with Blake Griffin and what the Sixers did with Nerlens Noel last season — sit him. For the entire season.

The questions are who will draft him and how far Embiid ultimately falls down the board. The navicular bone is the same one that Yao Ming, Bill Walton and Zydrunas Ilgauskas battled, none of them terribly successfully. How far Embiid can come back and if this could be a chronic issue has to be on the minds of GMs in their draft war rooms.

That said, in a league without many dominant centers anymore, Embiid could become one and that makes him worth the gamble. He is incredibly athletic and mobile for someone his size and the question becomes will he be able to move the same way. He can protect the rim and rebounds, his offensive game is all about potential but he made leaps during his season at Kansas.

I’d be surprised if Embiid got past the five slot, but it depends on what teams take away from this surgical report.

To his credit, Embiid has remained optimistic.

  1. 00maltliquor - Jun 20, 2014 at 5:10 PM

    Of course his agent is going to say he’s confident about his return, the guy’s trying to get paid off this young man…what else was he going to say?

    “Well, you know…this is pretty disappointing. He’s for sure going to drop a few slots in this draft. He may sit out half or all of the 2014-15 season like Noel did. The surgery was successful but don’t count on him playing more then 60 games in any NBA season for your ballclub…”

    Yeah right! As KH loooves to say, take his agents optimism with a truckload of salt.

  2. ericreives - Jun 20, 2014 at 5:19 PM

    I think he falls further than 5. Back and foot injuries to a big man is not a good thing. He’s only 240lbs so Embiid has that going for him. I just don’t see teams with the first seven picks gambling on him. Once Wiggins, Parker, Randle, Exum, Vonleh, and Smart are off the board, I just don’t see the Lakers gambling on him. They might even trade back. Gordon, Saric, and Stauskas could start gaining traction as safer picks within the lottery selections.

  3. cueghost - Jun 20, 2014 at 5:20 PM

    Oh! Well, then that settles it… His agent says he’s going to be able to play. No need to even spend another second wondering about it then…

  4. m4a188 - Jun 20, 2014 at 5:29 PM

    I hope he has something to fall back on.

  5. spursareold - Jun 20, 2014 at 5:35 PM

    Thank you, Dr. Tellem.

  6. adoombray - Jun 20, 2014 at 5:54 PM

    still the best 7 footer prospect in the draft ; if the C’s keep the 6 he’s not falling further

  7. xmatt0926x - Jun 20, 2014 at 6:04 PM

    The bone is the”same one that Yao Ming, Bill Walton and Zydrunas Ilgauskas battled”. Uhh….Ok. Someone with a top 5 pick is going to take that gamble? Does this guy have anywhere near the wear and tear that those guys had at his age, yet he still broke down?

    Good luck to the GM with a top 10 pick who takes that gamble.

    • eugenesaxe1 - Jun 20, 2014 at 6:32 PM

      Yao came over late in his career, and I want to say Z did too, but I’m too lazy to look into it. Pretty sure all 3 had more mileage on their feet.

  8. eugenesaxe1 - Jun 20, 2014 at 6:24 PM

    Translation: “He’ll be healthy enough to sign his contract and guarantee his agent gets paid.”

  9. mungman69 - Jun 20, 2014 at 6:54 PM

    The Sixers won’t draft and stash him. They stashed Noel last year so now they have to play.
    I can see a team taking a chance on Embiid. I watched some of his college games and he had amazing talents for a 7 footer. But he should take the whole year off. I think that some team will take him at 4 or 5.

    • 00maltliquor - Jun 21, 2014 at 2:51 AM

      Could you imagine Philly taking him and having to wait 3 years in a freaking row for a starting C!?

  10. zackd2 - Jun 20, 2014 at 7:51 PM

    Wow. Interesting how something like a torn ACL would have been better for his draft stock than foot/Back issues.

    • adoombray - Jun 20, 2014 at 7:57 PM

      Foot and back issues are what take down 7 footers ; ACL issues are deal breakers for guards.

  11. campcouch - Jun 20, 2014 at 10:00 PM

    Ilgauskas missed two seasons with injuries to both feet,played 14 total years,averaged 13p/7r/2b, 2 time All-Star and holds a few team records. Not bad for a less athletic guy with the same injury…twice. Given the time,treatment and patience by a team,he should be OK. Walton unfortunately was a victim of the medical science of his time and Yao had toe,knee and foot injuries that derailed him at the latter half of his pro career that he played almost year long between the NBA and CBA. It sucks for him money wise,but if he gets grabbed later on by a team (contender) willing to let him sit and mend,he’ll might be the all-time steal of the draft era.

    • 1historian - Jun 21, 2014 at 8:46 AM

      If he drops to 6 the Celts grab him.

      Not to mention that this should cool down the Love talk until the actual draft takes place.

      The Love train is still in the station

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