Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid has a displaced flap in the meniscus of his left knee and is considering surgery, The Athletic's Shams Charania and Joe Vardon reported.
Per the report, Embiid, his doctors and the 76ers are considering options on how best to address the injury, with rest and rehabilitation still on the table. A displaced flap is a type of tear in the meniscus. Surgery would require Embiid to miss extended time, per the report.
The 76ers have not confirmed the report. A source told The Athletic that a decision on how to proceed could be made by Monday. The news arrives after the 76ers announced Thursday that Embiid has a meniscus injury that would keep him out through the weekend at a minimum.
Embiid missed games against the Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers last week with what was then described as knee soreness before returning to play Tuesday against the Golden State Warriors. He has since missed a Thursday game against the Utah Jazz following the diagnosis of a meniscus injury. Per The Athletic, citing a 76ers source, Embiid has been dealing with soreness in his injured knee for much of the season.
The news is a significant blow for Embiid, the 76ers and the NBA. Embiid had emerged as a favorite alongside Nikola Jokić to win the league's MVP award this season. The two have combined to win the past three MVPs with Embiid winning last season. Any extended time unavailable will jeopardize Embiid's chances of winning the award.
Per NBA rules implemented this season, candidates for major individual awards, including MVP, are required to play a minimum of 65 games in the regular season. Embiid has already missed 13 games. He can only miss four more before losing eligibility.
Embiid is averaging a career-high and NBA-best 35.3 points alongside 11.3 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 1.8 blocks per game while shooting 53.3% from the field and 36.6% from 3-point distance. He was recently selected as a starter for the upcoming All-Star game. If Embiid's not able to play in the Feb. 18 game, commissioner Adam Silver will be tasked with choosing his replacement.
The 76ers are off to a 30-17 start, good for fifth place in the Eastern Conference. They enter Saturday six games behind the first-place Boston Celtics with the Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks and Cleveland Cavaliers also ahead of them in the standings.