Embiid has been battling pain in his left knee since the All-Star break, forcing him to sit a number of games.

There was serious concern over whether he would be fit to play in the opening game against the Nets at the weekend.

Ultimately, the team decided to start him but he played restricted minutes.

The 76ers’ hopes of making a deep playoff run will likely rest on the health of Embiid and whether he can fully recover in the coming weeks.

But having lost the opening game to Brooklyn, Philadelphia will need to get back on track in Game 2.

The 76ers have been reluctant to release too much information on the state of Embiid’s injury.

But Dr. David J Chao, who is a former NFL team doctor, wrote a column in the San Diego Tribune in which he raises serious concerns over the long-term effect of what he believes Embiid’s injury is.

“The brace shown is used for unicompartmental arthritis,” he wrote.

“It could be used for a bone bruise, but absent an acute injury that is unlikely.

“And given Embiid’s long-term value, I doubt the Sixers medical staff would allow him to play through a bone bruise to risk further damage.

“Therefore the brace almost certainly means Embiid’s longevity is in question.

“Assuming the brace means he has some sort of arthritis, there is no complete cure.

“There can only be management of the issue.”

With no LeBron James in the Eastern Conference this year, there will be a new contender for the winners of the West.

Philadelphia have been heavily backed to make the NBA Finals, but Brooklyn are proving a tougher test than many anticipated.

source: express.co.uk


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