When word came down this summer that the Sixers’ Joel Embiid needed a second foot surgery and would miss another NBA season, there also came a report that Embiid was not wearing his walking boot enough, was putting on weight, had fought with Sixers training staff (he had been sent home from a road trip because of it), and generally was not taking his rehab seriously. The team officially denied this, and they picked up his contract option, but around the league people believe an immature Embiid was a part of the problem with his foot not healing properly after the first surgery.
With this second surgery, Embiid is far more on board with the rehab, reports David Aldridge at NBA.com.
There are no guarantees that this operation will work — everyone thought the first one would do the trick — but Embiid at least is staying on top of his conditioning, after numerous stories came out during the summer about his being out of shape.
“He just seems like (there’s) a new level of maturity, a new level of seriousness in him,” a source said. “The gravity of the situation is on him; it’s on everyone.”
What does this ultimately mean? Who knows. This is still a big man with foot issues and those have a long history of ending poorly. But Embiid is young, and if this was a successful surgery and he takes the rehab seriously, maybe he can get on the court next season.