Joel Embiid out indefinitely with orbital fracture, concussion

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Joel Embid’s hopes of reaching the Eastern Conference final for the first time encountered an unexpected obstacle when the Philadelphia 76ers announced Friday that their franchise center had suffered a right orbital fracture and a concussion that would sideline him indefinitely.

The 76ers are set to open their second-round series against the top-seeded Miami Heat on Monday, and Embiid is listed as out for Game 1. It is unclear when Embiid will return, but he underwent surgery and was out of the game for several weeks. , when he sustained a similar injury in 2018.

The five-time all-star posted 33 points and 10 rebounds in a series victory over the Toronto Raptors on Thursday, but he took an elbow in the face from Pascal Siakam while defending a drive late in the fourth quarter.

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Embiid grabbed his head immediately after the game, which was ruled as a foul on Siakam. He immediately left the game and did not return, with Philadelphia winning to a 132-97 victory. Earlier in the Toronto series, Embiid sustained an injury to his right thumb reportedly will require surgery out of season.

“I think [Siakam] broke my face, Embiid told NBA TV in an interview after the game. “I’m serious. I think he may have broken my face. Everything is fine. It’s the playoffs.”

The timing could not be worse for Embiid, who this season won his first scoring title and was named one of three finalists to win MVP honors. Embiid, 28, played career-high 68 games and averaged 30.6 points, 11.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists. Despite his injury problems, the Embiid 76ers led to a series victory over the Raptors in six games with an average of 26.2 points, 11.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists.

Philadelphia coach Doc Rivers lacks good opportunities to replace Embiid, who played 39 minutes per game. match against Toronto. The 76ers swapped backup center Andre Drummond for the Brooklyn Nets as part of the return package for James Harden, and they have used DeAndre Jordan sparingly in recent weeks due to his declining mobility.

There can be no doubt about Embid’s influence on the win this season: Philadelphia went 45-23 with him on the field and 6-8 without him. The 76ers and Heat shared their season series with two wins each, but Philadelphia drew a win over Miami with Embiid on the sidelines on March 21st.

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