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Joel Embiid undergoes surgery for facial fracture

Nuggets 76ers Basketball

Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid in action during an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets, Monday, March 26, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)


Joel Embiid’s surgery to repair the broken orbital bone in his face — the eye socket, to us non-doctors — was on hold for a few days because the swelling in his face needed to go down after Wednesday’s collision with Markelle Fultz.

It finally has, and he has had the surgery, something first reported by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

The time frame on these surgeries are usually 2-4 weeks, and his ability to get back on the court includes factors from how things heal to pain tolerance.

The Sixers are optimistic Embiid will only miss a game or two of the playoffs (which start in two weeks). That’s possible. Or, it’s possible he misses more time (and for the Sixers, thinking long-term, there is reason to be a little cautious). What we know is that without Embiid on the court the Sixers are not near the same team, their defense goes from elite to average, their offense falls to one of the league’s worst. That’s not a recipe for lasting long in the postseason.

However, the Sixers remain a team a lot of others in the East would like to avoid, because if Embiid is back and in peak form, this is a bear of a team to beat.