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Joel Embiid Could Miss the Start of the 2016-’17 Season

That’s just gggggggreat. Joel Embiid underwent surgery earlier this week on his foot, finally, and will now rest and rehabilitate his problem foot for the next year before returning to the court.

So you would think! Keith Pompey of the Inquirer said sources told him Embiid might not even be ready by the beginning of next season.

“Talking to my sources, they want to see him [Embiid] return around October, not this October, but the next October, [Editor’s note: I love that he specified this] for that season. And he may not even return for the start of that season. He may miss a couple games. But that’s their goal. Right now, the Sixers believe he’s gonna be their long-term superstar.”

Now, I know saying Embiid might miss the start of the regular season would get a lot of vitriol thrown at the Sixers, but if Embiid only misses a few games to ensure he’s 100% before he returns to game action, I’m all for it.

Let’s be serious here. Embiid gains nothing by coming back this season just to go into the offseason likely not 100%. He’s missing the entire season and has a three-month grace period after this upcoming season ends to ensure he’s 100%, so that should be more than enough time for him to get ready. And, honestly, if you think bringing him back at the end of this season will benefit him, I’ve got a condo in Hawaii to sell you.

I really don’t mind him missing a few games, or even games to rest his body during his first season. The Sixers, for all intents and purposes, won’t be in contention any time soon, so resting Embiid – much like Chip Kelly is resting DeMarco Murray – might be the best option when the center returns.

Now, Pompey said something interesting that made me wonder – will Embiid actually try to come back from this? He noted how several sources have indicated Embiid isn’t the hardest worker and needs a special kind of motivation to do what he needs to do. While the Sixers might think he’s their long-term superstar, he might think otherwise. And at this point, I don’t think I actually blame him.

And, again, who’s to say he’ll even be here next year?

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