CHARLOTTE, N.C. – It turns out that Joel Embiid injured the area near his left eye before.
The 76ers center's previous injury happened during his lone season at the University of Kansas, according to the Kansas City Star. Brett Brown said he was unaware of that incident on Sunday.
But now, four years later, Embiid fractured his orbital bone and suffered a concussion while colliding with teammate Markelle Fultz against the New York Knicks on Wednesday. The all-star center had surgery on Saturday and is expected to be sidelined two to four weeks.
"To my knowledge, there is zero connection," Brown said of the two incidents.
On Jan. 8, 2014, Embiid, a Kansas freshman at the time, was forced to wear goggles in a game against Oklahoma after he had injured the eye while being inadvertently hit by teammate Hunter Mickelson during practice that week, according the Kansas City Star.
Embiid went on to score six points and grab six rebounds in 19 minutes of action in the Jayhawks' 90-83 victory. Afterward, the center told reporters he would continue to don the eyewear in the upcoming practices and the Jan. 11, 2014, game against Iowa State. He did wear them during that game. Embiid, however, downplayed the whole thing.
"I can see," Embiid told reporters. "There's no major injury, or whatnot. I can see."
While wearing goggles at a Sixers practice last season, he told the Philadelphia media he ended up wearing them a few times at Kansas. Asked why he wore them at last season's practice, Embiid said, "I felt like it."
He'll most likely have to wear them once he returns to the court. Embiid collided with Fultz, who was driving around his teammate when his right shoulder crashed into Embiid's head. He fell to the court, sat up before lying back down.
JJ Redick finished with 20 points while making 5 of 8 three-pointers in the Sixers' 119-102 victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday. Afterward, Charlotte coach Steve Clifford said Redick fits in "incredibly well" in Philadelphia.
The shooting guard signed a one-year, $23 million deal with the Sixers in July after playing the previous four seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers.