May 12 update: Embiid is available, as expected, for Game 6. The Sixers need a win at home to avoid being eliminated, so look for the big man to set the tone on both ends of the floor for his team.
May 11 update: Embiid is listed as questionable, but at this point we know he’s playing. The theatrics continue for the 76ers injury report.
May 10 update: Embiid will be in the starting lineup for the Sixers’ Game 5 against the Heat, per the team’s official Twitter account.
May 9 update: Once again, Embiid has been listed as questionable for Game 5 against the Heat. There’s no indication he has had any setbacks through two games in Philly, so expect him to suit up in this pivotal Tuesday contest in Miami.
May 8 update: He was listed as questionable even though everyone knew he was going to play. Embiid is officially available for Game 4 as the 76ers look to even up the series against the Heat.
May 7 update: The injury games continue with Embiid. He’s officially listed as questionable for Game 4 against the Heat, but the big man played 36 minutes in Game 3 after starting that day as doubtful. You can bank on Embiid suiting up for this contest, as this is no longer about concussion protocols and is simply pain management.
May 6 update: There have been a lot of updates on Embiid today, but this should be the final one. The big man is expected to play in Game 3 vs. the Heat, per Adrian Wojnarowski’s report on ESPN’s pre-game show. We don’t know what the minutes will look like, but this is obviously a massive development for the 76ers. Embiid was eventually listed as available shortly after Woj’s update.
May 6 update: Embiid is set to return, although he’s officially a game-time decision. Head coach Doc Rivers said the big man is not likely to play his usual minutes if he’s cleared, so Embiid will be limited on that front. However, all signs point to him suiting up for Game 3.
May 6 update: There’s reportedly optimism in Philly that Embiid will return for Game 3 Friday against the Heat, according to Shams Charania. The 76ers are definitely about to get fined for not properly designating Embiid’s injury if he does suit up, but they don’t care about that. The big man coming back will provide a huge lift for the team, who needs a win at home after going down 2-0 in the series.
There’s optimism Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid will return tonight in Game 3 vs. Heat, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. He has been fitted for a mask and will need to feel comfortable before green light. One of the NBA's great play-through-pain efforts recently.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) May 6, 2022
May 6 update: Embiid has cleared concussion protocol and participated in the team shootaround this morning, but the 76ers have still listed him out for Game 3 against the Heat. If this is an attempt at gamesmanship, it is a very poor one. The team is down 2-0 and there’s a sense Embiid is likely to at least get some minutes in this game. We’ll update with an official ruling ahead of the game, but fans and bettors can expect Embiid to at least have a chance of suiting up. He’s closer to questionable than out for this one.
May 5 update: Embiid has been formally ruled out for Friday’s Game 3 contest against the Heat, which is bad news for the 76ers. This was the game Embiid could’ve possibly returned to, but now the team will have to fight back without him. That task will fall largely on James Harden, who has been off his game relative to expectations. Tobias Harris and Tyrese Maxey will also need to have major contributions. There might not be a point to Embiid coming back for this playoff run if the Sixers don’t win Game 3.
May 1 update: Embiid has been officially ruled out for Games 1 and 2 of the series against the Heat, but he is hopeful to return in Game 3. If Embiid can return, it will definitely help Philly tremendously in this series. If the Sixers can steal a game on the road, they might be able to get the big man back for two pivotal home games.
April 30 update: Joel Embiid will not need surgery on his orbital fracture, per John Clark. When he had surgery on a similar injury four years ago, he returned in three weeks.
Per Shams Charania, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid will miss at least the first game of the Eastern Conference semifinals after an injury suffered last night.
Sources: 76ers All-NBA star Joel Embiid suffered a right orbital fracture and mild concussion in series-clinching Game 6 win last night in Toronto. He will be listed as out and there is no timetable for his return.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 30, 2022
Embiid had 33 points and 10 rebounds in the Game 6 clincher, but took this hit from a driving Pascal Siakam late in the fourth period with the game well in hand.
Joel Embiid broke a bone around his eyeball along with a concussion after this elbow from Pascal Siakam, and is out indefinitely. Sixers Heat series starts Monday pic.twitter.com/zTeURJfvwn— New York Basketball (@NBA_NewYork) April 30, 2022
It’s a brutal break for a team that had fought off plenty of demons with their win after going up 3-0 on the Raptors, but then dropping the next two games. Embiid is still potentially the MVP of the league, though is likely to finish behind Nikola Jokic despite his outstanding season.
For the regular season, he averaged 30.6 points, 11.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game while remaining as one of the true defensive forces in the league. Game 1 is in Miami on Monday, and the Heat will be strongly favored as long as “The Process” remains off the court.