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Report: 76ers unsure whether Joel Embiid will be ready to begin 2016-17 season

Milwaukee Bucks v Philadelphia 76ers

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 13: Philadelphia 76ers General Manager Sam Hinkie talks to Joel Embiid #21 prior to the game against the Milwaukee Bucks on April 13, 2015 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

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76ers general manager Sam Hinkie said Joe Embiid would need 5-8 months to recover from surgery, which the center finally underwent this week.

That timeline could put Embiid back on the court late this season, but Hinkie said he doesn’t expect that to happen.

At least Embiid should be healthy in plenty of time for the 2016-17 season, right?

Well…

Keith Pompey of The Inquirer:

Talking to my sources, they want to see him return around October – not this October, but the next October, 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.

The 76ers should be patient, and all indications are they will be. That’s easier because they’re not interested in winning right now, but they also seem genuinely concerned with Embiid’s long-term health.

This is a troubling sign, though.

A recovery period of 5-8 months is a red flag (especially after Embiid just missed what would have been his rookie season). Fourteen months? That’s downright scary.

If that’s what Embiid needs to have a fulfilling career from here, that’s fine. A few months here or there will become irrelevant once he gets rolling.

But if this is a sign of just how seriously Embiid is hurt and reflects the likelihood he’ll ever play at a high level in the NBA, yikes.