SO WHAT IS going on with Joel Embiid and his impending surgery? For some reason, the 76ers aren't telling.
Numerous texts and phone calls to president and general manager Sam Hinkie and others in the organization by the Daily News have gotten no response as the time frame the team set for Embiid's second surgery on his injured right foot has passed by nearly a month.
Let's recap: On June 13 the team released a statement that said, in part, "Joel and Sixers personnel traveled to Los Angeles for a series of routine exams. During his visit, a standard CT scan on Joel's right foot revealed less healing than anticipated at this point." Then on July 11, after it was reported that Embiid would miss the season due to another surgery, the team came out with a statement acknowledging such, and said that surgery would take place "in 7 to10 days."
Here we are almost a month later and no word on if, or when, Embiid is going to have surgery. Three weeks ago, the Daily News reported that according to two sources, Embiid had rebroken the navicular bone in his foot, which was the reason for the second surgery and why the team announced he would be sidelined for the upcoming season.
It is all a little head-scratching. The organization had teams that participated in both the Utah and Las Vegas summer leagues. Embiid was present for both, watching games from the sideline. During a game in Las Vegas, several people saw him him running up steps from the floor to the concourse level. Though the team had known for a couple of weeks before that he was going to need season-ending surgery, Embiid was not wearing a protective boot, nor walking with any kind of hindrance.
When and how this most recent injury happened is still a mystery. Since the season ended and up until the June 13 statement, a source said Embiid was working out daily at the team's practice facility. When asked if he was playing five-on-five, the source said no, but "only because there weren't enough people to play five-on-five. He was playing very meaningful games of three-on-three and was doing fullcourt workouts. He is pretty much a full go." Words used to describe Embiid's play were "dominant" and "explosive."
Now the words from the organization are, well, nothing. Hinkie had said that Embiid had felt no pain before the CT scan in June that showed "less healing than anticipated." Could it be that the player and his "camp" don't want to get the surgery, and are in a battle with the Sixers? Could it be that he has had the surgery and no one wants to say so?
Perhaps in the near future, the team will give the fans the answers they want, and deserve.