76ers Injury Update: Joel Embiid Bows Out of MVP Race With Heartbreaking Update on Meniscus Tear

Published 02/04/2024, 8:18 PM EST

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USA Today via Reuters

Joel Embiid‘s stellar MVP-worthy season has hit a roadblock, coming to an unexpected end. Amidst an extraordinary NBA campaign where he nearly averaged 36 points per game, the recent outings have taken a toll on the dominant center. Showing signs of weariness, Embiid visibly struggled on the court, primarily due to knee issues. A recent report unveiled the diagnosis: a left meniscus injury.

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In a surprising turn of events, insider information suggests that Embiid is actively considering surgery. According to a team official, the procedure is slated for this week. However, the downside is that this decision will sideline him for an extended period, definitively putting an end to his MVP aspirations.

 

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Embiid, his doctors, and the 76ers are exploring various options to address the injury, rest, and rehabilitation. While the 76ers have not officially confirmed the report, a course of action could be reached by Monday.

Just recently, the 76ers claimed that Embiid was dealing with a meniscus injury, sidelining him at least through the weekend. Embiid, due to knee soreness, missed games against the Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers last week. However, he made a return against Golden State Warriors, culminating in a meniscus injury diagnosis post-game. Moreover, it appears that the Embiid had been dealing with knee issues for the majority of the season.

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With new NBA regulations introduced this season, candidates for major individual awards must participate in a minimum of 65 regular-season games. With Embiid already missing 13 games, he can only afford to miss four more, aligning him to miss out if he opts for surgery.

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The 76ers plan to out-shoot teams in the absence of Joel Embiid

Embiid boasts the NBA-leading average of 35.3 points, 11.3 rebounds, 5.7 assists, and 1.8 blocks per game. He also maintains a shooting touch of 53.3% from the field and 36.6% from beyond the arc. It is easy to say that it takes teams two or more players to replicate a similar similar production.

Now, with Embiid potentially sidelined, the 76ers will need alternative strategies to maintain their season standing and playoff berth. If Embiid goes for the surgery, the hope is that Joel will return mid-season, resuming his MVP-caliber performance. Until then, Head Coach Nick Nurse must pivot towards a more three-point-centric game plan.

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Traditionally, the 76ers heavily relied on Embiid’s scoring, entrusting him to orchestrate plays whenever needed. However, despite having other scoring talents, the team now needs to emphasize more plays involving driving to the basket and kicking out for three-point opportunities. Coming off a recent loss to the Brooklyn Nets, the 76ers are gearing up to face the Golden State Warriors and the Dallas Mavericks in their upcoming matchups.

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Written by:

Saahil Dhillan

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