Points by Ben Simmons during Game 3 victory over Nets

Nothing to smile about

Posted by Eric Fisher On March 1

The mystery surrounding the playing status of Joel Embiid is gone.

The third-year center’s first year of NBA action is officially over. The Sixers released a statement saying that quotes Sixers chief medical director Dr. Jonathan Glashow as saying that the meniscus tear in Embiid’s left knee is “more pronounced” in the most recent scan.

The remaining mystery is whether the meniscus tear, which showed up on a Jan. 23 MRI, has become worse over time or if the extent of the injury wasn’t apparent in January.

After sustaining a knee injury against the Trail Blazers, Embiid’s condition was initially described as a hyperextended knee by head coach Brett Brown. That diagnosis was quickly changed to a knee contusion, which later morphed into a bone bruise. After a report by Derek Bodner, former of Philadelphia Magazine, that Embiid had a meniscus tear, Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo admitted that Embiid had a “minor tear,” but insisted the problem was the bone bruise.

After viewing Monday’s MRI, however, Dr. Glashow, in the statement released by the Sixers, said that “the area affected by the bone bruise has improved significantly.” Apparently, it’s the meniscus tear that will end Embiid’s season.

Embiid finishes his first season of action with averages of 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.45 blocked shots in 31 games.

What should be concerning to Sixers fans is that Embiid sustained these injuries despite being placed on minutes restrictions and not playing in back-to-back games. Embiid missed his first two NBA seasons with injuries. Before Wednesday’s announcement, Embiid had missed 17 of the previous 18 games, only playing in a nationally televised loss to the Rockets.

The announcement that Embiid won’t play in the Sixers’ final 23 games comes on the heels of the announcement that forward Ben Simmons, the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s NBA Draft, won’t play at all during his rookie season due to the fact that a Jones fracture in his left foot has not fully healed. It was revealed this week that Simmons received a bone marrow injection in his foot to promote healing.

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