The 76ers will say only that Joel Embiid is out indefinitely with left knee soreness and swelling.
While it's better than saying he's out day-to-day, as they have most recently, the term "indefinitely" really isn't revealing much. They are basically saying that he's out for "an unlimited or unspecified time."
Instead of saying "indefinitely," the Sixers should be telling folks Embiid is done for the season.
With 23 games remaining, it doesn't make sense for the rookie center to play again this season.
He has missed 14 consecutive games and 17 of 18 after suffering a bone bruise on Jan. 20. An MRI exam revealed that he also has a slightly torn meniscus. He was expected to return Friday against the New York Knicks at the Wells Fargo Center.
Sixers president Bryan Colangelo declined comment to reporters. However, he did a prearranged interview with Comcast SportsNet's Philly Sports Talk.
"Over the course of [recent days], his training has developed a reaction with swelling and soreness," Colangelo told CSN. "Wanted to take a step back, put him on ice for a minute, and make sure we do everything possible, including getting another scan done today."
The Sixers said they will consult with their team doctors after receiving the MRI result. At that point, they will devise a plan of action.
"It would be great for us as a unit to have him out there as we continue to strive forward toward winning as the season concludes," Colangelo said. "But at the end of the day, the health and performance of our athletes is first and foremost, we don't want to jeopardize the long-term health."
Colangelo's saying the Sixers "don't want to jeopardize the long-term health" sounds like they don't expect him back this season.
Even before Monday's announcement, there was some uncertainty as to whether Embiid would return. That's because the knee swelling and soreness is nothing new.
Embiid has routinely experienced those things on days after practicing. The team wants him to have several practices without any swelling and soreness before he's available to play.
There's no telling when or if that will occur. That's why the Sixers should have made an announcement that he's not playing again this season, especially when that appears to be the case.
"The luck he's had with injuries, you have to feel really bad for him," point guard T.J. McConnell said. "But his health is most important. I would rather him get healthy and be able to play and try not to risk it more."
Embiid has already missed 27 games this season because of rest or injuries. This comes after the third overall pick of the 2014 draft missed the previous two seasons following surgeries to the navicular bone in his right foot.
Fearful of putting too much stress on the foot, the Sixers formulated the plan not to play him on back-to-back nights. And when he did play, the Sixers restricted his minutes.
"Considering all of the work that Joe has put in, and how much time and effort he's put into it," swingman Robert Covington said, "for him, this is another test of patience. . . . It's a hit, but it's another test of adversity."
Embiid is averaging 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.45 blocks and 2.1 assists. He's was the Eastern Conference rookie of the month for the months of October/November, December, and January. Embiid was also the conference player of the week for Jan. 16-22.
"It's actually quite stunning that he has been able to accomplish the things he has," Colangelo said. "But as we move forward, our goal, our intention is to have him out there healthy and ready, so he can possibly hit those high levels of performance."
That's why they need to shut him down for the rest of the season. That's the best way to ensure Embiid gets healthy.