Joel Embiid’s Foot Surgeon: It’s Possible He Could Play for Sixers This Season

When it comes to foot fractures, a clean break is a good break.

The Inquirer‘s Mike Sielski has an interview with surgeon Richard Ferkel, aka the guy who operated on Sixers’ No. 3 pick Joel Embiid’s balky foot, in which Ferkel is quite optimistic not only about the talented big man’s career prospects, but about the possibility that he could play next season. Not, y’know, that the Sixers appear to be in any hurry to get their first round picks onto the court.

Why the optimism, other than the fact that Ferkel’s like the go-to man for ballers with foot ouchies? It’s that Embiid is so darned responsible:

Embiid sustained what Ferkel called a “clean break” of the navicular — a weight-bearing bone in the middle of the foot — “without any major separation, which is important.”

Basically, because Embiid sought attention so quickly after he experienced pain in his right foot, the break wasn’t subjected to excessive pounding and thus didn’t have a chance to pull apart, which can cause all sorts of nastiness.

Of course, it’s not surprising that the high profile surgeon is cautiously optimistic and couching comments like: “There’s no reason he shouldn’t have a great NBA career and be very successful. Once this heals, hopefully this won’t be an issue for him in the future.” But the guy’s track record with the likes of Ray Allen and Manu Ginobili is encouraging (less so Andrew Bogut). 

But hey, worry all you want about Embiid and his recovery, but make sure you take a second to enjoy Nerlens Noel — last year’s damaged first-round big man — “looking bouncy” and rejecting shots in summer league: