Joel Embiid injury update: 76ers star to miss first two games vs. Heat after facial fracture, per report

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The complexion of the Eastern Conference playoffs has been significantly altered with the news that Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid is out indefinitely after suffering a right orbital fracture and mild concussion in the team’s 132-97 series-clinching Game 6 win over the Toronto Raptors on Thursday night, according to Shams Charania.

Embiid, who was already playing through a torn ligament in his right thumb that reportedly will require surgery this offseason, is not expected to travel with the Sixers to Miami for the first two games of the East semifinals series, meaning we won’t see him at least until Game 3, per Adrian Wojnarowski.

Embiid needs to clear concussion protocols before he can play again, but there is optimism that he could return in either Game 3 or Game 4, Wojnarowski adds. While not having Embiid to start the series is a significant blow, the good news is there has been no indication of the orbital fracture, which is on his right side, will require surgery, per Ramona Shelburne. Embiid suffered a left orbital fracture in 2018, which did require surgery. Again, this leaves the door open for Embiid to perhaps play through the fracture if he indeed clears concussion protocol at some point.

An MVP candidate for the second straight season, Embiid suffered the injury after being elbowed by Raptors forward Pascal Siakam with four minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Embiid is obviously crucial to any potential success for Philadelphia this postseason, leading the team with averages of 26.2 points and 11.3 rebounds per game. The bulk of the offensive responsibility will fall to James Harden, Tyrese Maxey and Tobias Harris for as long as Embiid is out.

Game 1 of the series is set for Monday night in Miami.

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