CAMDEN, N.J. -- The Sixers' season was marked by injuries … 327 games missed because of injuries, as a matter of fact.
Ben Simmons (right foot), Joel Embiid (left knee), Jahlil Okafor (right knee), Robert Covington (right knee), Jerryd Bayless (left wrist) and Sergio Rodriguez (left hamstring) all suffered season-ending injuries, including four season-ending surgeries. That's six sidelined players out of a 15-man roster.
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"Unfortunately, we did have a string of injuries this year," Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo said on Friday. "Some pretty high-profile and complex scenarios that, unfortunately, held us back from perhaps even obtaining more success."
As a result, the Sixers' medical staff came under public criticism this season. Not just for the fact so many players were getting injured, but also for the announcement of information.
Embiid's knee injury, which began with a contusion and later revealed a meniscus tear, was originally described as a day-to-day scenario. He was out much longer than that. Embiid would go on to have season-ending surgery, described by Colangelo as a "simple meniscectomy" instead of a repair, which cuts recovery time in half.
"I wasn't too happy with the way it was kind of handled before," Embiid said in February (http://www.csnphilly.com/philadelphia-76ers/joel-embiid-unhappy-how-sixers-handled-injury-updates). "I saw the day-to-day part. I was told that I was going to miss at least two or three weeks … 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."
The next day, Colangelo said he regretted not using the term "out indefinitely." On Friday he reiterated the need for better dissemination of injury-related news.
"As I acknowledged at our previous event like this, we have some work to do with respect to communication and transparency," Colangelo said. "But that has been worked on. It, I think, has gotten better since I last said that."
Colangelo backed up the medical staff when asked if he was happy with them or if he expects changes for next season.
"I have no doubt that our medical team on site and the people that work with the athletes on a daily basis, the care, is really world class," he said. "I heard that as much with respect to our player exit interviews yesterday … I would tell you that every player felt like we have great resources and great care with respect to their situations."
The medical staff will have their hands full this offseason. Simmons, Embiid, Covington and Bayless have rehab programs ahead of them. Okafor will continue to receive treatment with the Sixers and try to heal his knee. He has not discussed surgery.
"As we go into this offseason, we're going to continue to look for ways that we can improve and get better," Colangelo said in regard to the medical staff. "But that we do that with every area of the organization, every year, every summer. There's a consistent evaluation that goes on all the time as you look at yourself and you try to be the best organization possible."