Embiid to miss 5-8 months after foot surgery

Embiid to miss 5-8 months after foot surgery
June 27, 2014, 3:30 pm
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Kansas coach Bill Self said Joel Embiid will be an All-Star, but the 7-footer will be out 5 to 8 months to start his NBA career. (AP)

Joel Embiid will miss five to eight months in his recovery from foot surgery, Sixers GM Sam Hinkie said Friday in his day-after-draft press conference.

It had previously been reported by ESPN.com that Embiid would miss four to six months, but Hinkie said that information was inaccurate. 

"Timeframe -- I've seen reported some four to six months -- that's not the number that I've heard," Hinkie said. "The number that I've heard from the surgeon himself was five to eight months."

The Associated Press report of the surgery cited an estimate of nine months but admitted an exact timetable was unclear.

Might that mean the Sixers take the Nerlens Noel route and that Embiid doesn't play this season? It's worth noting that the Bovada sportsbook set an over/under for Embiid at 41.5 games played, then removed it for good minutes after Hinkie's update (see story).

"Guess what our approach will be? We will focus on the long-term health of the player," Hinkie said. "We've had this discussion before. ... It is all that matters, the long-term health of the player. Will we be smart about that? Of course. Will we be thoughtful about that? I hope so. Will we be patient? Yes. We will give him every chance to be as healthy as he can be."

Hinkie was with the Rockets when Yao Ming had an issue with his navicular bone, but he admitted that there isn't a large sample to draw from when looking at Embiid's particular injury.

"The sad truth is you don't find big samples for any of these," Hinkie said. "[You] look for studies for seven-foot, 20-year-old basketball players from Africa with a particular break in their foot, that's challenging, there aren't a lot of them."

Still, the Sixers feel Embiid was a "calculated risk" at No. 3.

"He's a remarkable talent that, in our minds, only in this scenario does he fall to 3," the GM said. "If he can remain healthy, he can have a fantastic NBA career."

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