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Why Joel Embiid’s Latest Injury is Concerning for the 76ers

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On Wednesday, the Philadelphia 76ers announced All-Star big man Joel Embiid will be out at least one week due to knee soreness.

This is concerning for Philly for three reasons: Embiid’s injury history, they are dealing with other key injuries and the time of the season.

Embiid’s history

Everyone knew that Embiid would be a star in college. But nobody could predict the number of injuries he would face.

Taking a look at his history Embiid has been through a lot. In 2014 Embiid broke a bone in his foot which ruled him out entirely of the 14′-15′ season. Then coming into 15′-16′ it was announced in the summer that Embiid had suffered a setback in the healing process and would be unlikely to play. Embiid then had another surgery on his foot in August which would keep him out for the entire ’15-’16 season.

In February of the ’16-’17 season, Embiid tore his meniscus in his left knee. Thankfully, this tear did not require surgery. But in turn, this injury would prevent him from playing the rest of the ’16-’17 season.

In the 2018 season, Embiid then had to deal with a facial contusion forcing him to wear a mask for several games. Later in the season Embiid then dealt with some left knee pain. The same leg in which he tore his meniscus. In 2019 Embiid dealt with back spasms which sidelined him for another several games.

Embiid will be out another week
Courtesy of the Washington Post

Those are just the major injuries, not even accounting for some general soreness and rolled ankles.

Now, with another bout of left knee pain, Joel Embiid will be out for at least one week. Again in the knee which he tore his meniscus.

He will also be missing some key games against the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder in this time.

Other injuries

Right now the 76ers only have three players on their Injury Report, but they are some important pieces. Embiid, Furkan Korkmaz and Zhaire Smith are all currently out.

Shooting guard Korkmaz is out with a torn meniscus, and as most probably thought, Zhaire Smith will more than likely not be playing in this season.

Korkmaz, 21, is a young role player who is battling for minutes with James Ennis. Being sidelined by this injury, unfortunately, means that this young player will likely be cut in favor of a free agent that could provide a more immediate impact.

As probably expected, Zhaire Smith will be out for this season after fracturing a bone in his foot. He has not played a game in the NBA yet.

Playoff Push

The immediate impact of a player like Embiid is important to keep in mind. Especially as the 76ers look to go deep in the playoffs.

This is a tough time to lose a player of Embiid’s caliber, especially with the playoffs looming. Dropping a few games when Embiid is out is not ideal when looking at the playoff placing, especially considering the small gap between the third seed and the fifth seed that the 76ers are currently in.

Embiid’s immediate impact is that the 76ers are 15.7 points better when Embiid is on the court. Scoring around 10 more points and giving up 10 fewer points when he is playing.

This may seem like a small deal but Embiid is having continuous problems in his left leg, specifically his knee. It may be time for the Philadelphia medical staff to take a look at what is going on before Embiid suffers another major injury.


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