The Philadelphia 76ers missed All-Star center Joel Embiid in a big way during their 106-92 Game 1 loss to the Miami Heat on Monday night. Embiid is sidelined indefinitely after suffering a concussion and broken orbital bone against the Toronto Raptors in Game 6 of the first round last Thursday.
On Tuesday, Sixers coach Doc Rivers provided an update on the big man and said that he’s doing “a lot better,” but added that he didn’t want to provide any “false hope.”
Embiid is expected to miss Game 2 of the series on Wednesday night, but there’s internal hope within the Sixers that he’ll be able to return to action at some point in the series, potentially as early as Game 3 on Friday night.
Embiid has had a rough postseason when it comes to injury issues. Prior to suffering the concussion and broken bone in his face, the MVP candidate was already playing through a torn ligament in his right thumb that will require surgery this offseason. Embiid vowed to play through that injury, and is likely eager to return to the court, especially after watching his team lose the first game of the series to Miami. Embiid first needs to clear concussion protocols before he can return to play.
Embiid suffered the injury to his face late in the fourth quarter of Game 6 against Toronto after being elbowed by Raptors forward Pascal Siakam. You can see the play below:
The Sixers don’t appear to have much of a chance in the series without their best player, so the sooner Embiid can get back out on the court for Philadelphia, the better.