The Philadelphia 76ers announced Friday night that superstar center Joel Embiid will be out indefinitely after suffering a right orbital fracture and moderate concussion in the team’s Game 6 victory over the Toronto Raptors the day before.
With 3 minutes, 58 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Embiid was injured while contesting a Pascal Siakam drive. While the play was being reviewed, Embiid headed to the bench, and Siakam was finally called for an offensive foul.
Embiid’s backup, Paul Reed, came in for the last 3:58 with the Sixers ahead 119-90. After the game, Embiid did not talk to the media. In the 132-97 win, he had 33 points and 10 rebounds, and in the first-round series, which Philadelphia won 4-2, he averaged 26.2 points and 11.3 rebounds.
On Friday evening, Embiid was checked by specialists to ascertain the severity of his orbital fracture. Although the results are still pending, sources informed ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne that no decision on surgery has been made yet. Next week, Embiid will be evaluated once more.
There is no set date for his return, but sources say “the door isn’t shut” just yet. It depends on the degree of the orbital bone fracture and how the medical personnel of the team decides to handle it.
It will also depend on his development through the NBA’s concussion protocol, which has no set timeline for when he will be cleared.
The Eastern Conference semifinal series between Philadelphia and the Heat begins Monday night in Miami and will continue every other day until the series is finished.
Embiid was already dealing with a ruptured ligament in his right (shooting) thumb, which he sustained during Philadelphia’s Game 3 victory in Toronto.
When Embiid collided with teammate Markelle Fultz in 2018, he suffered a left facial fracture and concussion. He missed three weeks due to the injury, including the final two weeks of the regular season and the first two games of the playoffs, before returning for Game 3 of Philadelphia’s first-round series against the Heat.
While his prior left orbital fracture in 2018 necessitated surgery, sources told Shelburne on Friday that there is no indication that this injury on his right side will necessitate the same procedure.