The 76ers said Friday night that superstar center Joel Embiid will be out indefinitely after suffering what the team called a right orbital fracture and mild concussion in Philadelphia’s dominant Game 6 win over the Toronto Raptors a day earlier.
Embiid suffered the injury while defending a Pascal Siakam drive with 3 minutes, 58 seconds to go in the fourth quarter. Embiid immediately went to the bench while the play was reviewed, with Siakam eventually being called for an offensive foul.
With the visiting Sixers up 119-90, Embiid’s backup, Paul Reed, checked in for the final 3:58. Embiid didn’t speak to the media after the game. He had 33 points and 10 rebounds in the 132-97 victory and averaged 26.2 points and 11.3 rebounds in the first-round series, which Philadelphia won 4-2.
Embiid was evaluated by specialists Friday evening to determine the severity of the orbital fracture. The results are still pending, but sources told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne that a determination on surgery has not yet been made. Embiid will be evaluated again next week.
There is no timetable for his return to the lineup, but sources said “the door isn’t closed” yet. It depends on the severity of the orbital bone fracture and how the team’s medical staff decides to treat it.
It will also be contingent on his progressing through the NBA’s concussion protocol, and there’s no timetable for when he’ll be cleared on that either.
Philadelphia’s Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Heat begins Monday night in Miami and will continue every other day until it is complete.
Embiid was already playing through a torn ligament in his right (shooting) thumb, an injury he suffered in the first half of Philadelphia’s Game 3 win in Toronto.
In 2018, Embiid suffered a left facial fracture and concussion when he collided with teammate Markelle Fultz. That injury required surgery and caused him to miss a total of three weeks — the final two weeks of the regular season and the first two games of the playoffs — before he returned for Game 3 of Philadelphia’s first-round series against the Heat.
Sources told Shelburne on Friday that while his previous left orbital fracture in 2018 required surgery, there has not been an indication that this injury, on his right side, will require a similar procedure.