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Joel Embiid will undergo procedure on meniscus injury, recovery timeline unknown

The center is dealing with a major knee injury and is expected to miss significant time.

Philadelphia 76ers v Golden State Warriors Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

February 4 update: Embiid has opted for a surgical procedure that will put him out for an extended period of time, effectively ending his chances at repeating as the league MVP. The task of carrying the 76ers into the postseason now lies in the hands of Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris, who will need to take on bigger offensive roles. Paul Reed likely gets the initial nod to start for Philadelphia but there’s a chance of some activity at the trade deadline to reinforce this roster.

February 3 update: Embiid has officially been diagnosed with a displaced meniscus flap, and he’s weighing rest/rehab versus a surgical procedure. The second option will surely sideline him for the rest of the season, while the latter probably means he is load managed for most of the year but is potentially available in the postseason without issues.

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid has a torn meniscus in his left knee, per Shams Charania of The Athletic. The reigning MVP had an MRI after leaving Tuesday’s loss to the Golden State Warriors with a knee injury and according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, he will remain out through the weekend while the team finalizes a treatment plan.

Things have taken a downturn for Embiid and the Sixers since he dropped a franchise-record 70 points against the San Antonio Spurs las Thursday. The team has lost four straight games and ended up sitting out of last Saturday’s prime time showdown against the Denver Nuggets and Monday’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers. Embiid was not listed on the injury report prior to the former contest and the Sixers were fined $75,000 by the league.

Philly has slipped to fifth-place in the Eastern Conference standings during this losing skid and have struggled offensively without its star center. Three of the four losses have come by double digit totals and they’ve failed to crack 110 points in each of its last three games.

This injury news also puts Embiid’s quest for back-to-back MVP’s in major jeopardy with the NBA’s new rule that players must play a minimum of 65 games to be eligible for major awards. He’s missed 12 games already this season and tonight’s matchup against the Utah Jazz will make it 13. He’ll miss Saturday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets at the very least and even if he can suit up for Monday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks, he will have to play nearly every game for the rest of the season to qualify. Given Philly’s NBA title aspirations, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Embiid and the organization punts on the MVP chase to get him some rest for later on.