After being forced to sit out the entirety of his rookie season following surgery to heal a foot injury, former third overall pick Joel Embiid could be set to go back under the knife yet again.
Philadelphia 76ers General Manager Sam Hinkie confirmed an earlier report by The Philadelphia Inquirer that Embiid is to require a second surgery on the right that has caused him so much concern over the past 18 months or so.
To make matters worse for the young Philadelphia 76ers star, Hinkie made it clear that the procedure will mean Embiid will miss his second straight full season of action.
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"A collective decisio nhas been made that the best approach to promote full healing would be to proceed with a noe graft of the fracture site," the GM explained in an official statement.
"We anticipate the procedure will take place in the next seven to 10 days and result in Joel missing the upcoming season."
The news is a cruel blow for the seven-foot center after he had appeared to be making good progress in recent months following his original surgery. It was even thought, had the 76ers not been tanking last season, that he could have played some part in games back in May.
Should the worst case scenario play out and Joel Embiid does miss all of next season, there will be some in the game who will start to wonder whether the much hyped former Kansas star will ever be able to live up to his potential - or even make it out onto the court for a single appearance.
Indeed, The Inquirer notes that one source told them the Philadephia 76ers are "concerned that this setback is career-threatening."
The 76ers are undergoing a serious transitional phase right now and they had hoped Joel Embiid would be at the forefront of that rebuilding process. Now though, with Embiid set for months on the sidelines, it looks like the likes of Nerlens Noel and this year's third overall draft pick, Jahlil Okafor, will take on that mantle.