Joel Embiid suffered a concussion and a fracture to the orbital bone near his left eye in Wednesday’s victory over the New York Knicks, the 76ers confirmed Thursday night.
Surgery to repair his orbital bone will be performed in the coming days, possibly on Saturday, according to a source. The all-star center’s appearance in the first round of the playoffs could be in jeopardy.
Peter DeLuca, the head team physician for the Eagles and head team orthopedic surgeon for the Flyers, said that recovery from surgery on orbital bone fractures usually takes about four weeks.
“The area is vascular so it heals quickly,” he said. “It typically heals within four weeks. But he could potentially play in two weeks with goggles or a face shield.”
As far as concussions are concerned, things are a little more unpredictable.
“It depends on what part of the brain is affected by the concussion and what his symptoms are,” DeLuca said. “Completing the concussion protocol could take anywhere from one week to four weeks.”
According to the Sixers, Embiid passed the NBA’s locker room concussion assessment tool after the game at the Wells Fargo Center. However, he later started experiencing symptoms and was diagnosed with a concussion, the team said. Embiid has been placed in the NBA’s concussion protocol.
A CT scan revealed the fracture, the Sixers said. Embiid was at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and did not accompany the Sixers on their two-game road trip.
The Sixers were scheduled to fly to Atlanta on Thursday afternoon for Friday’s game against the Hawks at Philips Arena. Then they’ll travel to Charlotte for Sunday’s game against the Hornets at the Spectrum Center.
Embiid left after being hurt with 11 minutes, 40 seconds to play in the first half of the victory over the Knicks. He did not return.
The center was injured in a collision with Markelle Fultz, who was driving around his teammate when his right shoulder crashed into Embiid’s head. Embiid fell to the court, then sat up before lying back down.
The Sixers did not give an update after the game, but Embiid posted a video on his Instagram story feed from his hospital room late Wednesday. In the video, his face appeared to be swollen under a caption that read, “Not good.”
Embiid is arguably the league’s best post player, averaging 22.9 points, 11 rebounds and 1.8 blocks. The Sixers (44-30) have eight regular-season games remaining. They will be at a huge disadvantage in the postseason if he’s limited or unable to play.