Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid will miss the remainder of the season after a follow-up MRI revealed that the meniscus tear in his left knee "appears more pronounced," the team announced Wednesday.
Embiid, who had been out indefinitely while dealing with swelling and soreness in his left knee, has not played since Jan. 27.
Dr. Jonathan Glashow, the Sixers' chief medical director, said the area affected by Embiid's bone bruise has improved "significantly" and that the team will continue to meet with specialists and gather information "to determine the best course of action and next steps."
The No. 3 overall pick in 2014, Embiid missed his first two seasons while recovering from foot surgery. He averaged 20.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game in 2016-17.
The 76ers were cautious with Embiid, never playing him more than 30 minutes in a game -- yet he still had a penchant for big numbers. He scored at least 20 points in 19 of his 31 appearances, had nine double-doubles, blocked at least three shots 12 times and even was a 37 percent shooter from 3-point range.
"Our primary objective and focus remains to protect his long-term health and ability to perform on the basketball court," Sixers president Bryan Colangelo said. "As our medical team and performance staff continue their diligence in the evaluation, treatment and rehabilitation of Joel's injury, we will provide any pertinent updates when available."
The Embiid decision comes after the Sixers announced last week that No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons would miss his entire rookie season because his surgically-repaired foot had not fully healed. Simmons underwent surgery to repair an acute Jones fracture of the fifth metatarsal bone in his right foot on Oct. 4.
Embiid admitted he experienced swelling in his knee after going through a full practice last Thursday.
He said last week that he wasn't pleased with how the Sixers had initially declared him as "day to day" when he first suffered the bone bruise. He later underwent an MRI that revealed a slight tear in his meniscus.
"I wasn't too happy with the way it was kind of handled before," Embiid told reporters in Philadelphia last Thursday. "As far as the day-to-day part. I was told (initially then) that I was going to miss at least two or three weeks so I wasn't happy with the way it was handled (as far as telling the public he was day to day).
"I thought keeping my name out there was going to just like literally have people think about me all the time instead of just saying when I was going to be back."