The NBA draft is around the corner, but for freshman Joel Embiid it will be a struggle as the center has had surgery on a foot fracture causing him to miss six months, according to ESPN.
The Kansas Jayhawks center has been linked with a move to Cleveland Cavaliers and Milwaukee Bucks as Embiid has been impressing both teams, and these two franchises have the first picks in the upcoming draft.
After his successful surgery, Dr. Richard Ferkel spoke to ESPN and believes Joel will make a return to the NBA.
"The surgery went very well and I'm confident that after appropriate healing he will be able to return to NBA Basketball. Joel tolerated the surgery without difficulty and will begin his rehabilitation in the near future."
The 20-year-old's highest scoring game was against the Texas Tech scoring 18 points whilst featuring for 32 minutes and grabbing eight rebounds.
According to ESPN, this is a common injury in the NBA as Charlotte Hornets center Brendan Haywood suffered the same injury and missed 97 days of the season.
However in the past it has ended NBA careers. Yao Ming of the Houston Rockets and Eric Montross once of the Toronto Raptors both suffered navicular bone injuries in their foot resulting both players retiring.
Yao Ming missed 159 days of the season, while Montross missed 82 days.
There is no link to the injuries but this would always be in the back of Embiid's head as the 2014 draft and season approaches.
This injury could affect the Cameroon-born center's overall draft position.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are one of the favourites to sign the center as they get the first draft pick, and new coach David Blatt will be hoping to turn Cleveland's season around.
Under Mike Brown the Cavaliers finished tenth in the Eastern Conference, missing out on the play-offs.
Cleveland went on to lose three of their five remaining games against the Washington Wizards, Charlotte Bobcats and Indiana Pacers as Brown's time was up at the Quicken Loans Arena.
Their current first choice center is Anderson Varejao who started 29 times this season in the 65 games he played, averaging 8.4 points game.
Another team in the frame for Embiid are the Milwaukee Bucks.
Having finished bottom of the Eastern Conference they get second pick in this year's draft and having spent some time with Embiid will look eager to sign the 20-year-old.
The Bucks only won 15 games last season losing 67 as their season ended with them winning only two of their last ten games.
Milwaukee's current first choice center is John Henson who featured 70 times scoring over 770 points. But with the young energy of Joel Embiid in their team Larry Drew will look forward to seeing a youngster take command of the court.
But the main priority for Embiid at this point is coming back fitter and hungrier for a challenge as this injury will be holding the freshman back for now - but many NBA fans will be hoping it doesn't hinder his future career.
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