Philadelphia 76ers rookie sensation Joel Embiid will undergo surgery on a torn meniscus in his left knee, the team confirmed via twitter on Wednesday.

This will come as surprising news, as the injury Embiid suffered in January initially looked as if it would not require surgery, but further scans suggested that the 7-foot center would indeed have to undergo a procedure.

The following is from’s Marc Stein:

Sources said that Embiid and the Sixers had been exploring treatment options after he suffered a partially torn meniscus and bone bruise in his left knee on Jan. 20 against the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Sixers initially hoped that surgery would not be necessary on the knee, but a recent scan revealed “a more pronounced tear,” according to one source close to the situation.

Of course this is not the first time Embiid has encountered injury struggles. The Cameroonian missed his first two seasons as a 76er due to two surgeries on his right foot to mend a broken navicular bone.

Making his NBA debut this season after two years of injury plight, Embiid has already emerged as one of the league’s best young centers, as well as injecting a much needed breath of fresh air into the Philadelphia organization.

The fan favourite had been averaging 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks on restricted minutes (25.4 minutes per contest) this season, and when Embiid had played, the 76ers had gone 13-18.

Now out for the season, Embiid’s absence has allowed both Dario Saric and Richaun Holmes to emerge from the shadows.

Saric, now a firm front-runner for Rookie of the Year, has been averaging 16.6 points and 6.7 rebounds a game since Embiid’s injury on January 20th against the Portland Trail Blazers. While 23 year-old forward/center Holmes has been putting up 13.6 points and 6.5 rebounds over the month of March thus far.

While other players are stepping forward in Embiid’s absence, 76er fans and coaching staff alike will be hoping that his knee injury heals correctly and that he isn’t sidelined for any longer than first thought.

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