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Joel Embiid Undergoes Surgery on Meniscus Tear in Knee

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistMarch 22, 2017

BOSTON, MA - JANUARY 6: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on during the second half against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden on January 6, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeat the 76ers 110-106. 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 Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid underwent successful surgery to repair a tear in the meniscus of his left knee on Friday, the team announced.

“The overall status of Joel’s lateral meniscus and his cartilage is very good," Dr. Neal ElAttrache added in the team release. "Today's procedure focused on removing a small portion of the meniscus that was responsible for his symptoms. The recovery program that has been established targets Joel transitioning back to full weight-bearing in approximately two weeks, at which point a conservative approach to his rehabilitation will be introduced.”

ESPN.com's Marc Stein first reported the surgery as "very likely." 

Embiid was initially ruled out for the remainder of the regular season on March 1 after an MRI revealed a meniscus tear that was "more pronounced" than in previous scans. 

The Philadelphia Inquirer's Keith Pompey later reported Embiid was getting opinions from doctors in Los Angeles about his surgical options during the team's West Coast road trip. 

According to Pompey, "A partial meniscectomy is the most common. That involves the removal of the torn piece of the meniscus. A meniscal repair is the second type of surgery. That one fixes the damage and helps to prevent deterioration. It's a more complex surgery and has a longer recovery time."

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News of Embiid's likely surgery will undoubtedly sound some alarms. The 23-year-old has already undergone a pair of foot surgeries and dealt with stress fractures in his back, and the meniscus surgery will add to that extensive list of medical woes.

However, it should be noted that players can return from meniscus surgeries and be plenty productive. 

One case that hits close to home is that of Sixers center Jahlil Okafor, who was shut down a year ago after he suffered a partial meniscus tear in his right knee. Okafor has dealt with right knee soreness on occasion during the 2016-17 season, but he's largely been healthy despite some brief absences. 

"I just feel very confident given what he's been through and what he's seen himself do on an NBA court, that we'll move on," head coach Brett Brown said, per Pompey. "He'll come out of this thing OK."

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