Potential No. 1 pick Joel Embiid has suffered a stress fracture in his right foot and is slated for immediate surgery, his agent told Yahoo! Sports.
Joel Embiid has suffered stress fracture in right foot and slated for surgery on Friday, agent Arn Tellem says.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 19, 2014
The stress fracture is in the navicular bone in Embiid's right foot.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) June 19, 2014
The Cavaliers, who hold the No. 1 pick, discovered the injury in a physical, according to Wojnarowski.
It's a terrible bit of luck for the big man exactly one week before the 2014 NBA Draft. Embiid has been considered the favorite in recent weeks to go No. 1 overall to the Cavaliers. It's uncertain if this injury will change things.
Agent Arn Tellem said it's unlikely Embiid will be participating in anymore workouts in the run-up to the draft.
This is the second injury Embiid has suffered in 2014. A stress fracture in his back prevented Embiid from playing in the NCAA Tournament. Kansas fell in the round of 32, but Embiid reportedly would have been ready to play had the Jayhawks advanced to the second week of the tournament.
Embiid's stress fracture will shake up the Draft
Joel Embiid was slated to be the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, but now could slide after he suffered a stress fracture in his right foot. We try to make sense of this draft's biggest curveball.
Embiid's back injury made him a medical concern even before this recent foot injury. The timing of it all has thrown the No. 1 up for grabs between Kansas wing Andrew Wiggins, Duke forward Jabari Parker and Australian guard Dante Exum. The Cavs reportedly want to bring Exum in for a workout, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports.
There is a precedent for taking an injured center in the lottery. Last season, the 76ers selected Kentucky big man Nerlens Noel with the No. 6 pick in the draft just four months after he tore his ACL. Noel did not play for the 76ers last season as the team was cautious with his health. He will be expected to be a major piece to Philadelphia's future next season and moving forward.
The injury concerns for Embiid started in February. After dominating Iowa State on Jan. 29, he didn't look like the same player the rest of the season. He missed only one game on Feb. 15 against TCU before returning for four games. The back injury cost Embiid the final two regular season games of the year, two Big 12 Tournament games and two NCAA Tournament games.
Embiid been undergoing preparations for the draft for the last few weeks. There were mixed reports about his workout with Cleveland, with Ford saying he looked great and local outlets it didn't go well. This injury will cut future workouts short.
The news of Embiid's foot injury was originally reported by ESPN's Jeff Goodman.
There is likely to be some changes to mock drafts after this news. Goodman already said he'll put Jabari Parker to Cleveland at No. 1. The draft takes place on June 26.