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Joel Embiid has superstar level talent but a scary injury history. Embiid started his NBA career with a Navicular bone fracture and missed most of his first two seasons. The worrisome part is when combine the knee and foot injuries you get a time bomb waiting to explode. According to the American Journal Of Sports Medicine Navicular bone fractures always have lingering long term effects. Usually it starts with a 30% reduction in flexibility, range of motion loss and increased likelihood of new injuries. Early onset arthritis is also a concern.
With a 13% arthritis occurrence chance it’s something worth keeping an eye on. That and a 10% recurrence rate of new stress fractures are both confirmed by the Journal of Ankle and Foot Surgery. Link to one article is below.
Foot and ankle problems aside we still haven’t touched on the concerns with Embiid’s knees either. History has not been kind to big men with lower body health problems. Greg Oden and Yao Ming are examples of how lower body injuries take a toll when you have more body mass. Amare Stoudamire and Blake Griffin are more recent examples as well.
It’s not just about the injuries it’s about the toll they take as they add up. Every surgery or even small ailment increases the chances of a body with the mass of Embiid’s breaking down sooner. Joel Embiid had three knee surgeries to start his career including a partial meniscus removal. The risks of premature cartilage breakdown and severe osteoarthritis are quite real.
Embiid has had to sit and miss multiple games already because of pain or soreness in his left knee. Now we will miss time because of a bone bruise. The incidents are starting to pile up and you have to ask yourself how much longer until the bomb explodes.
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