Doctor: Joel Embiid's bone bruise, meniscal tear likely from 2 different instances

Doctor: Joel Embiid's bone bruise, meniscal tear likely from 2 different instances

Since seemingly everything surrounding the Sixers right now is health-related, Philly Sports Talk on Thursday welcomed Dr. Mark Schwartz, co-medical director for Virtua sports medicine.

Schwartz, who does not treat Joel Embiid or Ben Simmons, shared his knowledge and thoughts on the Sixers' injured rookies. 

(His thoughts on Simmons can be found here.)

Schwartz reviewed the tape of the Sixers' game against the Blazers back on Jan. 20, when Embiid was injured. Embiid suffered two falls in that game, coming out for good after the second.

Embiid hyperextended his left knee on the first fall, and the diagnosis on Embiid's knee was a bone bruise. But, as Schwartz says, a hyperextension typically does not result in a bone bruise.

"Hyperextensions can be a ligament tear, possible meniscal tear, but usually you wouldn't see too much of a bone bruise, per se," Schwartz told Michael Barkann.

"It's possible, but I believe there was a second injury."

Ah, the second injury, the meniscal tear the Sixers revealed only last week.

Schwartz went on to describe Embiid's second spill against the Blazers, which can be seen in the video above, as "significant."

"You can get a bone bruise from that, one traumatic event," Schwartz said. "Or sometimes it can be secondary to an overuse injury, repetitive jumping, landing on the knee. I would say that second injury was a significant fall.

"Bone bruises usually occur by contact, a hard fall, the femur being impeded down onto the tibia, knee-to-knee contact, a fall on the floor.

"Meniscal tears are usually due to twisting type of injuries.

"Twenty-five years ago, before we had MRIs, you couldn't really make this diagnosis radiographically. Now these bone bruises are able to be seen on an MRI and you can see the extent of the injury."

Sixers fans hold their breath every time Embiid dives for a loose ball or hits the ground trying to finish in traffic. It seems like this will be a career-long thing for him because it's just his style of play. The reckless abandon Embiid plays with is a primary factor in his success at both ends of the floor.

Can Embiid have a decade-long NBA career playing like this?

"Well, the problem, the NBA has done a study and the taller the player, the higher the injury rate and the shorter the career," Schwartz said.

"So, players over 7-2 certainly have the highest rate of injury in the lower extremities. And then you look at players 6-7 and taller, much different, higher injury rate in the lower extremities than shorter players."

Best of NBA: Noel scores 9 points, grab 10 boards in Mavs debut

Best of NBA: Noel scores 9 points, grab 10 boards in Mavs debut

DALLAS -- Harrison Barnes scored 19 points and Dirk Nowitzki had 18 points and nine rebounds as the Dallas Mavericks ended a three-game losing streak by beating the New Orleans Pelicans 96-83 on Saturday night.

The Pelicans fell to 0-2 since trading for DeMarcus Cousins and pairing him with Anthony Davis.

Davis had 39 points and 14 rebounds but scored only 12 in the second half. Cousins finished with 12 points and 15 rebounds.

Seth Curry scored 10 of his 13 in the fourth quarter to help Dallas pull away. His 3-pointer with 4:49 to play gave the Mavericks an 84-72 lead, and the Pelicans never got closer than six after that (see full recap).

Harden leads Rockets past Timberwolves in 142-130 shootout
HOUSTON -- James Harden had 24 points and 10 assists to lead the Houston Rockets to a 142-130 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves as both teams set season scoring highs in a Saturday night shootout.

Houston won for the sixth time in seven games, handing the Timberwolves their first road loss in more than three weeks.

Minnesota committed a season-high 25 turnovers that led to 38 points for the Rockets.

Playing against Houston's guard-heavy rotation, Minnesota went inside all night and outscored the Rockets 68-44 in the paint. Karl-Anthony Towns had 37 points and 22 rebounds, and Andrew Wiggins added 30 points (see full recap).

Bulls benefit as James sits with strep, beat Cavs 117-99
CLEVELAND -- Dwyane Wade scored 20 points and Jimmy Butler recorded a triple-double, leading the Chicago Bulls to a 117-99 victory Saturday night over the Cleveland Cavaliers, who played without LeBron James.

James missed the game with strep throat, and coach Tyronn Lue said he wasn't sure how long the Cavaliers would be without the four-time MVP. Cleveland struggled as it often does without its star - they are 4-19 without him since he returned to Cleveland in 2014, including 0-4 this season.

Chicago has won all three games against Cleveland this season. It took advantage of James' absence to win its fourth straight overall (see full recap).

George ejected, Heat stay hot with 113-95 win over Pacers
MIAMI -- Paul George had another frustrating night in Miami.

Hassan Whiteside scored 22 points and grabbed 17 rebounds, Dion Waiters added 22 points and the red-hot Miami Heat pulled away late to beat the Indiana Pacers 113-95 on Saturday night. Miami outscored Indiana 42-22 in the final 16 minutes, all with George watching from the Pacers' locker room after an ejection.

"It felt like a playoff-type game," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said (see full recap).

Instant Replay: Knicks 110, Sixers 109

Instant Replay: Knicks 110, Sixers 109

BOX SCORE

NEW YORK -- A 17-point game came down to the final possessions. 

The Knicks squeaked out a 110-109 victory, holding on to this one after suffering a buzzer-beating loss to the Sixers on Jan. 11. 

The Knicks squandered a double-digit lead in the fourth as the Sixers slowly chipped away at their lead at the line. The Sixers got within one, 106-105, when T.J. McConnell drained a three after a series of Sixers' free throws. 

Jahlil Okafor scored a go-ahead basket during a hustling Sixers possession with nine seconds remaining to give the Sixers a 109-108 lead. 

In the end, it was Carmelo Anthony, who had been running up the scoreboard all night (37 points), that nailed the game-winning jumper over Robert Covington. Kyle O'Quinn picked off the Sixers' final inbound attempt. 

Inside the box score
• Okafor finished with a season-high 28 points and 10 rebounds. He had eight rebounds in first half, including a coast-to-coast fast break.

• Dario Saric continues his strong Rookie of the Year push. He finished with 19 points, 15 rebounds and five assists. 

• Robert Covington struggled from the field overall (7 of 19, 2 of 11 from three) but filled up the stat sheet with 20 points, 10 rebounds, three steals and two blocks.

• Anthony did what Anthony does. He scored 37 points on 15 of 25 from the field, including the game-winner.

Anderson debuts
Justin Anderson made his Sixers debut in the first quarter. Anderson is a multi-positional player and the lineup reflected that. He first played with Rodriguez, Stauskas, Covington and Holmes. Anderson played 3:47 and went 0 for 1 from three with a rebound and a foul. 

While Anderson said he had learned about the Sixers by watching his first game from the bench, he will get more on-the-court experience on Sunday when he plans to spend time at the training complex on the team's off day. 

Bigs Convene
Joel Embiid was with the Sixers in New York. After the second quarter ended, he stayed on the court to talk with Kristaps Porzingis and Joakim Noah. Both Knicks big men also were sidelined on Saturday.

Trust It
T.J. McConnell isn’t the only one to #trustthefriendship with Saric. Check out this no-look pass to Robert Covington. 

Up next
The Sixers have a day to bounce back from this loss. The 48-9 Warriors come to town on Monday.