Despite significant healing in the bone bruise in Joel Embiid's left knee, the rookie was ruled out for the remainder of the regular season on Wednesday after his latest MRI also revealed a bigger meniscus tear than initially diagnosed (see story).
So now what?
The Sixers have not announced any specific course of action for Embiid such as surgery. On Monday, team president Bryan Colangelo said the organization was in no rush to put the oft-injured Embiid back under the knife (see story).
Meniscus tears typically require trimming out the piece that's torn or completely stitching it back into place. If the Sixers do opt for one of those options, Dr. Mark Schwartz of Virtua Health still expects Embiid to be back for the start of the 2017-18 campaign.
"Ideally, you hope you can actually repair it. Long term, it's in his benefit," Schwartz, who is not treating Embiid, said on Wednesday's edition of Comcast SportsNet's Philly Sports Talk. "Either way, he should be back for next season with no restrictions."
With Embiid sidelined since Jan. 27 because of continued swelling and soreness, Schwartz does think it's time to undergo a procedure to remedy the tear.
"I think initially the bulk of the symptoms were coming from the bone bruise and the meniscal symptoms were probably in the background," Schwartz said. "Now that the recent MRI reportedly shows improvement in the bone bruise, I think now that the symptoms from the menisci have come to the surface and I think the new MRI shows the meniscal tear to be bigger than originally thought.
"I think the next step now that you know that he's not going to be playing for the rest of the season and he still has these symptoms and he's had this meniscal tear for quite some time now, I think the next logical step is to look into his knee arthroscopically."