Last week, the Philadelphia 76ers had an injury scare regarding their star center, Joel Embiid. Following an impressive overtime win in Game 3 in the first round against the Toronto Raptors, Joel Embiid revealed he was dealing with a hand injury.
After getting an MRI a few days later, it turned out that Embiid was dealing with a torn ligament in his thumb. While surgery was required, Embiid didn’t have to undergo a surgical procedure right away.
Therefore, Embiid intended to continue playing through the injury and would get surgery on his thumb in the offseason. While the thumb injury certainly wasn’t ideal, it wasn’t the end of the world for the Sixers’ playoff run.
However, there is another significant bump in the road now. After Philadelphia’s Game 6 victory over the Raptors, Embiid dealt with another setback. This time, the big man suffered an orbital fracture and a mild concussion.
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Due to the mild concussion, Embiid is forced to sit out for at least five days, which ruled him out of Game 1 against the Miami Heat on Monday. As for the orbital fracture, that’s an injury that the team can’t quite put a timeline on just yet.
This isn’t Embiid’s first rodeo with an orbital injury. Back in 2017-2018, Embiid suffered a similar injury. At the time, Embiid underwent surgery and missed multiple weeks. This time around that might not be the case.
According to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s John Clark, surgery is likely not required for Embiid’s injury. If Embiid were to undergo surgery, there was a good chance he would miss the entire second-round series against Miami.
Without surgery, the Sixers seem hopeful about a possible return at some point soon. As ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne recently reported, the door isn’t closed for Embiid to get on the floor to face the Heat in the second-round series. While nothing is guaranteed at this time, it seems Embiid’s playoff run is not done quite yet.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.