On the heels of news that Kevin Durant will participate in this week’s practices with Team USA comes another encouraging piece of news about one of the biggest stars in basketball. ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reports that Carmelo Anthony, who has been out since the All-Star break after undergoing knee surgery, will also practice in addition to attending the meeting in Las Vegas.
Whether or not Anthony plays for Team USA in the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, this is a good sign. Given how much time he missed last year, it would have made sense for Anthony to remain cautious with his Team USA participation, even if these practices aren’t exactly intensive. As with Durant, the fact that he’s practicing bodes well for his health come training camp.
All we know about Joel Embiid is that he’s not going to play for the Sixers this season. Beyond that, details of when he’s going to undergo surgery on his right foot and what his rehab timeline will be like are fuzzy at best. But the surgery is going to happen soon, according to a new report from John Gonzalez of CSNPhilly.com, who also says that Embiid has reached out to Kevin Durant for advice on dealing with the foot surgery:
Joel Embiid has not yet undergone a second surgery on his right foot, sources close to the situation told CSNPhilly.com, however, that procedure is still scheduled to take place and Embiid is still expected to miss the upcoming 2015-16 season.
The source said Embiid also reached out to Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant. The Thunder star underwent a bone graft on his right foot in late March. That surgery was performed at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, home to one of at least 12 doctors the Sixers and Embiid have so far consulted about Embiid’s hyper-complicated situation.
When asked whether the surgery would occur in the next week to two weeks, once source would only say that it would happen “in the near future.” When asked whether Embiid was having second thoughts about the procedure, a second source said, no, he is not second-guessing it. A Sixers spokesperson could not be reached for comment.
This whole situation is just a bummer for the Sixers, and especially for Embiid. The former No. 3 overall pick didn’t play in his rookie season, and now he’s going to have to miss another full year with another surgery on the same foot.
Some encouraging news on the Kevin Durant health front: he won’t be playing in the exhibition game, but his representatives tell USA Today‘s Sam Amick that the 2014 league MVP is going to participate in practice with Team USA this week in Las Vegas.
According to his agent, Rich Kleiman of Roc Nation Sports, and his manager, Charlie Bell, the Oklahoma City Thunder star who played just 27 games last season because of a fracture in his right foot plans to practice on Tuesday and Wednesday with Team USA at minicamp in Las Vegas. Durant will not, however, take part in the showcase game on Thursday at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center.
USA Basketball president Jerry Colangelo has said that players who want to be considered for the Olympic team next summer need to at least come to the minicamp, even if they only show up for the meeting. That’s all LeBron James is doing. Durant played in just 27 games last season after undergoing foot surgery, so it would have made sense for him to take a similar approach, especially with his free agency looming in a year. Durant feeling healthy enough to at least go through practice with Team USA is definitely a good sign for the Thunder this season.