How long is Joel Embiid out? Knee injury timeline, return date, latest updates on 76ers star

As Joel Embiid appeared to be turning a corner with his left knee injury, he will miss more time due to another setback. 

Embiid left Philadelphia’s Jan. 30 contest against Golden State with four minutes left in the fourth quarter after suffering an injury to his knee. It is the same knee that kept him out of the previous two games and why he was considered a game-time decision on Tuesday. 

The reigning MVP is putting up award-caliber numbers yet again in 2023-24 while carrying a 76ers team that is currently 29-17, good for fifth in the Eastern Conference. However, Philadelphia is on a four-game skid and Embiid may be out for an extended period. 

How long will Embiid be sidelined? Here is the latest on his injury and what it means for him and the 76ers moving forward.

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What is Joel Embiid’s injury?

The Athletic’s Shams Charania and Joe Vardon reported on Saturday that Embiid was diagnosed with a displaced flap of the meniscus in his left knee.

A displaced flap is considered to be a type of tear of the meniscus, according to orthopedic knee specialists via The Athletic. Embiid is considering getting surgery on the knee.

During the fourth quarter of the 76ers’ 119-107 loss to the Warriors, Embiid was being double-teamed in coverage by Golden State’s Draymond Green and Jonathan Kuminga.

When Kuminga poked the ball out of Embiid’s hands, the Philadelphia big man went to the ground to regain possession. While on the ground, Kuminga fell on top of Embiid’s leg, causing the 2023 MVP to grab at the knee. 

Embiid left the game and did not return. 

After the contest, 76ers head coach Nick Nurse said that the injury is “kind of unrelated to what’s been bothering” Embiid as of late. 

It was evident that the Philadelphia center was playing through the pain on Tuesday night. Embiid looked hobbled going up and down the court, clearly not operating at 100 percent, even before the Kuminga incident. 

“He said he’s more rusty — he hadn’t been on the court for five days — but he said he felt good,” Nurse said after the game. “He felt like he wasn’t quite playing like his normal self, but he felt like that was more rust and rhythm than it was anything else.”

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How long is Joel Embiid out?

On Feb. 4, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Embiid is set to undergo a procedure this week and while a recovery timeline has yet to be established, it’s expected the reigning MVP will be sidelined for an “extended period of time.”

After their five-game road trip, the 76ers returned home to face the Nets on Saturday, Feb. 3, the first game of a four-game homestand.

Embiid suffered a torn right meniscus during the 2021 NBA Playoffs and missed one game before returning to action with five days of rest.

With the NBA’s new rules in place about minimum games played, Embiid can miss only five more games before becoming ineligible for NBA awards such as All-NBA team honors and MVP. The league implemented a rule that states a player must participate in a minimum of 65 games to qualify.

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76ers upcoming schedule 2023-24

The 76ers are at home for the next three games, before a two-game road trip in Washington and Cleveland. 

Here is the 76ers’ upcoming schedule:

Date Opponent Time (ET) TV channel
Feb. 5 vs. Mavericks 7 p.m.
Feb. 7 vs. Warriors 7:30 p.m. ESPN
Feb. 9 vs. Hawks 7 p.m. NBA TV
Feb. 10 at Wizards 7 p.m.
Feb. 12 at Cavaliers 7 p.m.

Joel Embiid 2023-24 season stats

  • 35.3 points per game
  • 11.3 rebounds per game
  • 5.7 assists per game
  • 1.8 blocks per game
  • 1.1 steals per game
  • 3.7 turnovers per game
  • 53.3 percent field goal shooting
  • 36.6 percent 3-point shooting
  • 88.3 percent free throw shooting

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