Could Embiid suffer Yao's fate?

Updated: June 20, 2014, 10:34 AM ET
By Dr. Mark Adickes | ESPN Insider

The news that Joel Embiid was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his right foot is troubling, but it isn't a career death sentence for the Kansas center.

Indeed, the history of big men with foot problems is somewhat foreboding, as Kevin Pelton indicatesbut I believe Embiid still will be able to a fruitful NBA career after undergoing surgery on Friday.

Having served as one of the Houston Rockets' team physicians from 2006-10, I am very familiar with this injury. During that time, Rockets All-Star center Yao Ming was plagued by fractures of his left foot's navicular bone. So I saw firsthand the problems that can arise from this injury. Embiid's news certainly conjures visions of a hobbled big man such as Yao, but Yao's fate isn't necessarily what awaits Embiid.