Embiid to Blame for Second Foot Surgery, Sources Say

Embiid seems more interested in having fun than recovering from his foot injuryUnless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve probably heard something about Joel Embiid’s feet by now. The rookie player was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers over a year ago, but has yet to play a single day in the NBA. The team expected him to sit all last season in order to recover from a foot fracture and surgery, but were unpleasantly surprised when a second surgery became necessary, leaving him on the bench for a recovery that will likely last the entire 2015-16 season as well.

Now, according to certain reports, Embiid suffered the setback that led to the second surgery because he just wouldn’t wear his walking boot enough. According to a Sports Illustrated article, “The simple task of getting Embiid to consistently wear his walking boot was a challenge for the franchise, and multiple sources suggested that some people in Philadelphia’s front office wonder whether a second surgery would have been necessary if Embiid had worn the boot as much as he was told to.”

As a Houston podiatrist, I often see athletes who want to rush their recovery in order to get back into the game faster (not good, but understandable, to a degree.) But what is shocking to me is that Embiid seems to have had other motives. Again, according to Sports Illustrated, “Embiid was determined to go to Vegas to party for the balance of the 10 days of summer league. While Embiid was in Vegas, he was mandated to wear the walking boot in advance of the second surgery, but Embiid not only refused to wear the boot, but he carried himself as if nothing was wrong with the foot, shooting jumpers and even occasionally dunking.”

Rushing a recovery to further your career is bad enough, but abandoning assistive devices in order to party? That I just can’t understand! I know Embiid is only 20 years old, but I hope someone has a serious talk with him before his health (and his NBA career!) are broken beyond repair.

Dr. Andrew Schneider
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Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.