Joel Embiid will be out for at least another game, the 76ers announced on Sunday. Embiid has been out since March 28 with an orbital fracture and a concussion. He missed the 76ers’ dominant win over the Heat in Game 1 of the NBA Playoffs, but he did make an appearance before the game.
When Embiid does return he will wear a mask to protect his face from aggravating the injury. His concussion is no longer an issue as Embiid cleared the league’s protocol on Sunday. Embiid has been posting pictures on social media of him wearing the mask which gave hope that he would soon make a return. However, Philadelphia is being cautious with its prized big man.
Some fans and experts were worried entering the playoffs that the 76ers would struggle without Embiid. He’s their best player and is considered a Defensive Player of The Year candidate this season, but Game 1 proved that the 76ers can handle business without him. Philadelphia isn’t the type of organization that would allow a player to rush back, but now it can convince Embiid that he’s not costing any games on the bench while during his recovery process.
It’s hard to think that Embiid will be sitting out for much longer. His appearance before Game 1, clearing the concussion protocol and the social media posts in between all indicate he’s close to a return. It just depends when the 76ers are willing to let him back on the floor. That could be Game 3 or it could be at the end of the series.