76ers CEO: Joel Embiid ahead of schedule

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Joel Embiid underwent foot surgery Aug. 18, and it was estimated he’d miss 5 to 8 months.

76ers general manager Sam Hinkie said he expected the center to miss the season.

But could that timeline be changing?

76ers CEO Scott O’Neil, via CSN Philly:

Our doctors are saying it’s going ahead of schedule. At the end of the day, we know we have to show you and not just tell you. I will tell you that he is an elite talent, and I think he’ll be an elite player in this league.

I’d still be surprised if Embiid plays this season. The 76ers are going to be cautious, especially because they’re so far from contending regardless.

But this should raise some major questions if Embiid isn’t ready to begin next season.

As O’Neil said, we need to see proof at this point. Trusting Embiid is on the right track is no longer enough.

However, O’Neil – as Philadelphia coach Brett Brown did previously – defended Embiid’s work ethic after a report said Embiid didn’t wear his boot enough after his first surgery.

O’Neil also said Embiid grew two inches over the offseason. If Embiid ever gets healthy, he could be a heck of a player. But that’s still a big if.