NBA Rumor: Joel Embiid Injury

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Joel Embiid on Pascal Siakam's elbow: 'I don't think it was intentional'

Joel Embiid said that he didn’t believe that Siakam, who is a fellow native of Cameroon, didn’t intentionally hit him with the elbow. He also gave a very long, thoughtful answer on the interactions between fans and players in general in today’s NBA, including hearing “F— Embiid” chants throughout the series and how the fans there reacted after he was struck in the face. “I don’t think it was intentional,” Embiid said. “That’s my guy, obviously. It’s unfortunate. I don’t think he meant to do it. But, you know, I was more irritated by the perception of when that happened by really the fans and I’ve always thought they have great fans, but I kind of changed my mind about, you know, the fans up there. Whether it throughout the series, the ‘F—‘ chants and all that stuff. That’s cool.

Joel Embiid returned after missing more than a week with a facial fracture and concussion to play 36 minutes, score 18 points and grab 11 rebounds to lead his 76ers to a 99-79 victory over the Miami Heat in Game 3 of this Eastern Conference semifinal, pulling Philadelphia back into the series after dropping the opening two games. “No,” Embiid said, when asked if there was ever a moment when he thought he wouldn’t return to the series. “When it happened, after we figured out what really happened, I didn’t think about [the possibility of not playing].

Joel Embiid may still be available for Game 3?

76ers superstar center Joel Embiid is currently listed as out for Game 3 of Philadelphia’s Eastern Conference semifinal against the MiamI Heat, but there is progress that could be made to change his availability in time to play Friday, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. As 76ers coach Doc Rivers said Thursday afternoon, Embiid has yet to be cleared from the NBA’s concussion protocol. He can only be listed as out until he does.

Doc Rivers on Joel Embiid's availability: 'I really don't know'

Will Embiid be able to play in Game 3? “I really don’t know,” 76ers coach Doc Rivers said after Wednesday night’s 119-103 loss to Miami in Game 2, which Philadelphia again played without Embiid due to the facial fracture and concussion he suffered against the Toronto Raptors last week. “We talked [Tuesday], and we talked [Wednesday]. “He looked good, as far as talking. But he’s got so many steps to go through, and I don’t think he’s cleared any of them right now. So we just have to wait and see.”

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.

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.

There’s been no indication that surgery will be required at this time, which leaves the door open for Embiid potentially playing at some point during the Sixers-Heat series, though it’s premature to speculate on timing based on a number of factors, including how long the Sixers’ series might last against Miami with Embiid out in the short-term. Following surgery in 2018, Embiid famously returned to play wearing a customized mask, even donning a Phantom of the Opera costume as the bell ringer for the Sixers’ first game of the playoffs. Embiid recieved further evaluation in Philadelphia on Friday night after returning from Toronto.

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid believes he will be able to play through his right thumb sprain until the playoffs are done, saying that if there is a ligament tear he expects to hold off any sort of surgical procedure until the offseason. “I want to play, so obviously got to listen to what they have to say,” Embiid said Saturday after the 76ers were on the wrong end of a 110-102 decision to the Raptors in Game 4 of their first-round series. “So, I would imagine that I keep playing and probably do something after the season.”

But when he was asked if he was frustrated by having to yet again deal with an injury at the most important time of the year, Embiid said he just focuses on what he can control when he goes on the court. “It’s whatever,” Embiid said. “I’m Catholic. God … I always put it in his hands. So that’s why when I go out there I don’t focus on, you know, what can happen or what’s going to happen? “I just go out there hoping for the best and trusting, trusting [my teammates]. So this series hasn’t been … I mean, nobody knows [this], but I was really sick for the first two games. But you know, I fought through it.

Ligament tears typically need surgery. If that is the case with Embiid, it would probably come after the Sixers have completed their playoff run. But for now, he’ll continue to play with a brace while battling through the pain. No team in NBA history has come back to win a series after being down, 3-0. So the Sixers are heavily favored to advance to the Eastern Conference semifinals where they’ll face the winner of the Miami Heat vs. Atlanta Hawks series.
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February 8, 2023 | 1:33 am EST Update