"The assessment of Monday's follow-up MRI of Joel Embiid's left knee appears to reveal that the area affected by the bone bruise has improved significantly, while the previously identified meniscus tear appears more pronounced in this most recent scan," said Dr. Jonathan Glashow, the Sixers' chief medical director and co-chief of sports medicine orthopedics at New York's Mount Sinai Medical Center, in a statement. "We will continue to work with leading specialists to gather additional information through clinical examination and sequential testing to determine the best course of action and next steps."
Embiid, 22, averaged 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game during his rookie season. He has not played since a Jan. 27 loss to the Houston Rockets and was limited to 31 games overall, as the Sixers took a conservative approach with the former No. 3 pick after he missed his first two NBA seasons.
"Our primary objective and focus remains to protect his long-term health and ability to perform on the basketball court," said Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo. "As our medical team and performance staff continue their diligence in the evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation of Joel's injury, we will provide any pertinent updates when available."
Foot injuries cost Embiid the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. His presence in the Sixers lineup has been a revelation all year, as he instantly emerged as a borderline All-Star and a two-way menace.
Embiid knocked down more than a three per game on a solid 36.7 percent clip, pushed the ball up the floor with solid vision for a big and was one of the NBA's premier rim protectors.
Opponents shot 41.0 percent when Embiid was the primary defender at the rim, the NBA's best mark. The Sixers were 13-18 with Embiid in the lineup, including an 8-2 mark in his final 10 games. Philadelphia is 9-19 in all other contests.
This is the second time within a week the Sixers have ruled out a franchise cornerstone for the season. Philly confirmed last Friday that Ben Simmons would miss his entire rookie campaign due to a foot injury suffered in September.
Stats via NBA.com.