The Philadelphia 76ers have missed All-Star center Joel Embiid in a big way during their two opening losses to the Miami Heat in the second round. 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. Embiid was initially upgraded from out to doubtful for Game 3 in Philadelphia on Friday, but the star center cleared concussion protocol on Friday and participated in the team’s shootaround, according to The Athletic. Furthermore, Adrian Wojnarowski reports that following his pregame workout the big man will return Friday night, but could be held to limited minutes due to minimal conditioning opportunities over the past week.
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.
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 against the Heat without their best player, so the fact Embiid can get back out on the court for Philadelphia in Game 3 is promising.