Report: 76ers unsure whether Joel Embiid will be ready to begin 2016-17 season

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76ers general manager Sam Hinkie said Joe Embiid would need 5-8 months to recover from surgery, which the center finally underwent this week.

That timeline could put Embiid back on the court late this season, but Hinkie said he doesn’t expect that to happen.

At least Embiid should be healthy in plenty of time for the 2016-17 season, right?

Well…

Keith Pompey of The Inquirer:

Talking to my sources, they want to see him return around October – not this October, but the next October, for that season. And he may not even return for the start of that season. He may miss a couple games. But that’s their goal.

The 76ers should be patient, and all indications are they will be. That’s easier because they’re not interested in winning right now, but they also seem genuinely concerned with Embiid’s long-term health.

This is a troubling sign, though.

A recovery period of 5-8 months is a red flag (especially after Embiid just missed what would have been his rookie season). Fourteen months? That’s downright scary.

If that’s what Embiid needs to have a fulfilling career from here, that’s fine. A few months here or there will become irrelevant once he gets rolling.

But if this is a sign of just how seriously Embiid is hurt and reflects the likelihood he’ll ever play at a high level in the NBA, yikes.