The 76ers are close to making a decision that will dictate center Joel Embiid's immediate and long-term future, general manager Sam Hinkie said in a news conference Friday.
Hinkie said that another surgery has not been ruled out, and that he can't see Embiid playing for either of the Sixers' two summer league teams.
Embiid, 21, missed what would have been his rookie season after surgery last June to repair the navicular bone in his right foot.
In March, nine months after his injury, Hinkie said Embiid had a CT scan that "looked right on schedule." Embiid started running, playing and doing more by the day, according to Hinkie.
Then Embiid underwent one more MRI as a precaution before summer league play.
"And it just looked different," Hinkie said, dropping his voice. ". . . And so it caused the surgeon to say, 'Well, that's different, that's different. What is that?' So let's get to the bottom of this, and that's the thing we've been working on."
Embiid was the third overall pick in the draft last year after playing one injury-shortened season at Kansas.
"He feels really good. That's part of what makes this - maybe confusing's the right word - confusing for him," Hinkie said, adding that Embiid is symptom-free. "Maybe confusing because he feels great, in fact he says, like, 'I can't believe how good I feel. I felt great for a while.' It seems hard to believe someone could be wrong."
Hinkie said that he had a meeting about Embiid on Friday and that the next step is to consult surgeon Robert Anderson in Charlotte, N.C. Hinkie said a decision on Embiid's treatment will include input from Embiid's representatives, the team's performance staff, and medical experts.
Aside from choosing Jahlil Okafor with the third overall pick of the NBA draft on Thursday night, the Sixers made five second-round selections who won't all be on the team in the near future.
Hinkie said he was excited to add former Bowling Green forward Richaun Holmes, whom the Sixers selected 37th overall, and former North Carolina forward J.P. Tokoto, taken with the 58th pick.
Spanish center Guillermo Hernangomez, chosen 35th overall, was quickly traded to the Knicks for two future second-round picks. Lithuanian center Arturas Gudaitis (47th) and Serbian power forward Luka Mitrovic (60th) are expected to continue playing overseas, according to Hinkie.
Hinkie was most expressive about Tokoto, who stands 6-foot-6 and played three years for the Tar Heels as a defensively savvy small forward.
"J.P. Tokoto at 58, we strongly debated taking him at 47 and were truly interested at taking him there, and felt fortunate for being able to take him there," Hinkie said. "That said, he's picked three spots from the end of the draft and sort of all our expectations should be accordingly. But we think he has a chance."