Philadelphia, PA – Two years ago Joel Embiid was rehabbing his foot injury with traditional methods. Lots of stretching, weight bearing at the beginning of the process, and then a gradual uptick in exercise and weight lifting.
As all 76ers fans know, this just didn’t work. Embiid was forced to undergo another surgery when his foot didn’t heal properly.
Perhaps needing another direction, the 76ers have embraced sports science and several controversial methods for their prize young center.
Head of Strength and Conditioning Todd Wright and David Martin, MD, have tailored a new strength and rehab program specifically for Embiid’s unique needs as a dynamic 7-foot athlete.
Now, everyday, Embiid goes through a three-hour stretching program, a vigorous session of cardio, and then 25 continuous minutes of hitting his surgically repaired foot with a ball peen hammer.
“The stretching will help the ligaments in his foot endure the tremendous amount of stress he puts on his feet during a game and the cardio is a perfect way to get him back into game shape,” Wright said. “And of course we end every workout by striking every inch of his foot with a ball peen hammer. Strengthens the bones.”
Wright noted that he will burn Embiid with a hot curling iron if he passes out from the pain, but that’s only common sense.
Of course, Embiid’s foot is usually swollen beyond recognition at the end of his therapy, so Wright and Martin typically have the young athlete endure a lengthy blood-letting session to help “balance his humors.”
“He’s got a lot of melancholic fluids building up in him. By making several slits in the bottom of his feet, we can drain out that blood to make him more balanced. Leaches can do the trick as well,” Martin said.
And of course, both medical professionals typically perform his workouts and treatments under the light of a half, red moon, to ensure the treatments will help make him stronger. Plenty of witch hazel is also on hand to help ward off ill-tempered spirits that may thwart his recovery.
Of course, if all else fails Martin noted that trepanning is still on the table.