76ers

Doctor: Joel Embiid's bone bruise, meniscal tear likely from 2 different instances

Doctor: Joel Embiid's bone bruise, meniscal tear likely from 2 different instances

Since seemingly everything surrounding the Sixers right now is health-related, Philly Sports Talk on Thursday welcomed Dr. Mark Schwartz, co-medical director for Virtua sports medicine.

Schwartz, who does not treat Joel Embiid or Ben Simmons, shared his knowledge and thoughts on the Sixers' injured rookies. 

(His thoughts on Simmons can be found here.)

Schwartz reviewed the tape of the Sixers' game against the Blazers back on Jan. 20, when Embiid was injured. Embiid suffered two falls in that game, coming out for good after the second.

Embiid hyperextended his left knee on the first fall, and the diagnosis on Embiid's knee was a bone bruise. But, as Schwartz says, a hyperextension typically does not result in a bone bruise.

"Hyperextensions can be a ligament tear, possible meniscal tear, but usually you wouldn't see too much of a bone bruise, per se," Schwartz told Michael Barkann.

"It's possible, but I believe there was a second injury."

Ah, the second injury, the meniscal tear the Sixers revealed only last week.

Schwartz went on to describe Embiid's second spill against the Blazers, which can be seen in the video above, as "significant."

"You can get a bone bruise from that, one traumatic event," Schwartz said. "Or sometimes it can be secondary to an overuse injury, repetitive jumping, landing on the knee. I would say that second injury was a significant fall.

"Bone bruises usually occur by contact, a hard fall, the femur being impeded down onto the tibia, knee-to-knee contact, a fall on the floor.

"Meniscal tears are usually due to twisting type of injuries.

"Twenty-five years ago, before we had MRIs, you couldn't really make this diagnosis radiographically. Now these bone bruises are able to be seen on an MRI and you can see the extent of the injury."

Sixers fans hold their breath every time Embiid dives for a loose ball or hits the ground trying to finish in traffic. It seems like this will be a career-long thing for him because it's just his style of play. The reckless abandon Embiid plays with is a primary factor in his success at both ends of the floor.

Can Embiid have a decade-long NBA career playing like this?

"Well, the problem, the NBA has done a study and the taller the player, the higher the injury rate and the shorter the career," Schwartz said.

"So, players over 7-2 certainly have the highest rate of injury in the lower extremities. And then you look at players 6-7 and taller, much different, higher injury rate in the lower extremities than shorter players."

Sixers refuse to look at silver linings from season-opening loss

Sixers refuse to look at silver linings from season-opening loss

BOX SCORE

WASHINGTON — In years past, overcoming a 12-point deficit and trailing a playoff-contending team by just two points with a minute to go would be considered an “A for effort” for the Sixers

If they held their own against a more experienced team and didn’t get dominated by John Wall, a 120-115 loss on the road wasn’t really that bad … was it?

Not this season.

The Sixers are in a new phase, one with actual pieces versus promising potential. With that comes higher expectations to win, and it starts in the locker room after the first game. 

“I don’t like taking positives from losses,” JJ Redick said. “We need to clean up a lot of stuff. We need to be better. It takes a lot to win in this league. We need to figure that out, and we will. We are good enough to do that.” 

The Sixers were in Wednesday's game until the end (see observations). They withstood the combined 53 points from Wall and Bradley Beal with a 29-point performance by Robert Covington and double-doubles from Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons. 

The team acknowledged it had a chance to win. Yes, there were encouraging moments. No, they weren’t hanging their heads and writing off the season after opening night. 

At the same time, they are not ignoring the missteps that landed them in the loss column. Those are the turning points to learn from this season. 

The Sixers gave up just three points off four turnovers in the first half. The second half was a different story: 20 points off 13 turnovers. Down two points late in the fourth, the Sixers committed a pair of turnovers in a span of 30 seconds that hindered them from closing the gap. Those errors have been a focal point of conversation among the players. 

“Too many turnovers. That's big,” Embiid said. “That's been the talk in the locker room. Got to work on that.”

The Sixers have one day of practice before facing the Celtics and Raptors in back to back games. It's just a small taste of what's to come in a stacked schedule over the first two months of the season. The attitude is be good enough to win, not good enough to compete. 

“We’re not going to try to lose this season and take a bunch of positives from that,” Redick said. “We’re trying to win. We’re trying to be in the playoffs this year. That’s got to be the mindset.”

Joel Embiid 'surprised' by amount of playing time in Sixers' opener

Joel Embiid 'surprised' by amount of playing time in Sixers' opener

WASHINGTON — In the end, Joel Embiid’s playing time was a non-issue.

After days of frustration leading up to opening night, Embiid played just three seconds shy of 27 minutes against the Wizards. That far surpassed the 16 minutes he anticipated a day earlier on Tuesday (see story)

“I was surprised,” Embiid said following the Sixers’ 120-115 loss on Wednesday night (see observations). “I was expecting way less than that, but it just shows you they trust me.”

Brett Brown had maintained Embiid’s minutes were going to be more flexible than last year and he wasn’t locked into a specific number by the medical staff. Initially, Brown projected Embiid would play somewhere in the teens, but the game presented an opportunity for him to log more. 

Embiid had played 21:38 through three quarters and it seemed, based on last season, he was done for the night. The coaching staff calculated Embiid had over 20 minutes to rest between the third and the fourth quarters, so Brown put him back into the game with just over five minutes to play. He finished the game with 18 points, 13 rebounds, three assists, a block and four turnovers (see highlights).

“It’s a range,” Brown said. “It’s more of a plan that we have this year than a restriction. When you look at and you feel the flow of the game, that’s where the variables come in.”

Embiid wants open lines of communication between him and the medical staff — for him to know what its planning and for him to be honest about how he is feeling.

“It’s on me to not lie to them and tell them how my body feels when I’m tired,” Embiid said. “At some point through the game I was tired and I told them to take me out.”

Embiid is ready for a new outlook on his availability moving forward. 

“We’ve got to stop calling it 'minutes restrictions,'" Embiid said. "There’s a plan with that — it’s just go out and play. If you’re tired, get out because injuries happen more often when you’re tired.”