Before getting drafted, Embiid suffered a foot injury, which was sure to keep him off the court for his rookie year with the Sixers.
Although it took Embiid two seasons to debut, and his first year lasted just 31 games, the big man hasn’t suffered any injuries significant enough to take him off the court for significant time since the 2016-2017 season.
Last year, Embiid appeared in a career-high of 68 regular season games. Fortunately for the Sixers, Embiid made it to the playoffs healthy. However, he suffered a facial injury during the Sixers’ Game 6 victory to close the series against the Toronto Raptors.
Embiid’s new injury wouldn’t require surgery, but it kept him out of the first two games against the Miami Heat in the second round of the playoffs. While his return in Game 3 and beyond helped the Sixers pick up two victories, Philadelphia was knocked out of the postseason in six games beyond round one.
Following the Sixers’ 2022 playoff run, it became clear that Embiid would need an operation to repair his injured thumb. In May, Embiid received surgery on his sprained right thumb. He also had a procedure done to repair an injury to his left index finger, according to team officials.
As expected, Embiid’s offseason surgery didn’t impact his training camp availability. When the Sixers traveled to Charleston, South Carolina, on Tuesday for day one of camp, Embiid was a full participant.
Following Philly’s third practice on Thursday, Embiid took on questions for the first time since Monday’s media day session. When asked about his thumb, the Sixers star made it clear that he’s still adjusting.
“It’s still not the same,” Embiid admitted to reporters. “I don’t think it will ever be the same.”
Embiid’s thumb injury didn’t prevent the big man from dominating last season. After getting crowned as the NBA’s scoring champion, Embiid kept the ball rolling by averaging 23 points in the playoffs in ten games.
Battling the thumb injury is still a work in progress for Embiid, but he doesn’t intend to let it hold him back as training camp continues.
“You work with it,” said Embiid. “You get used to it, and I’m sure it’s gonna be fine.”
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for All76ers, a Sports Illustrated channel. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.