Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid had surgery for a fractured orbital bone and the date his return, according to coach Brett Brown, is unknown.
Adrian Wojnarowski recently reported that the big man could be back around the start of the postseason (via ESPN):
“Embiid could return in two weeks, league sources tell ESPN. Much of his return date could be based upon pain threshold. Embiid will still need to be cleared by doctors to return.”
This is similar to the estimate provided by ESPN’s Zach Lowe, who was originally told that the 24-year-old could return within two to four weeks.
Even though Wojnarowski indicated Embiid could potentially miss just one postseason game, others who cover the team have indicated that a two-week window might be a bit rushed.
As noted by Jeff Stotts, NBA players who have had surgery to fix a facial fracture missed a minimum of five games and an average of twelve games (via In Street Clothes):
“It may be odd that a player would be available to play immediately following a broken bone in the face. However, a quick return to the court is often accompanied by one small stipulation. Each of the aforementioned injured players were forced to wear a protective facemask in their return to the court. The NBA facemask, made famous by former Pistons guard Richard Hamilton, can be an annoying distraction for players unaccustomed to wearing one.”
The concussion that Embiid suffered could delay his return as well. The All-Star will be crucial to help the Sixers make a run in the Eastern Conference postseason.