Updated: 9:25 p.m.
Joel Embiid was right with his hospital assessment of his facial injury being “not good.”
Embiid on Thursday was diagnosed with a concussion and an orbital fracture of his left eye that will require surgery after colliding with Markelle Fultz in Wednesday’s game against the Knicks.
Upon first evaluation in the locker room, Embiid was asymptomatic of a concussion and passed the league’s concussion assessment tool. The center was taken to Jefferson Hospital as a precaution but later began experiencing symptoms. He was then diagnosed with the concussion and placed in the NBA’s concussion protocol, while a CT scan revealed the orbital fracture.
Embiid crashed into Fultz on a dribble handoff play at the 11:50 mark of the second quarter during the Sixers’ 118-101 win over the Knicks. Embiid fell to the floor and stayed down as he was evaluated by the Sixers’ medical staff on the court. He exited the game after playing just 8:32 and did not return as he was originally diagnosed with a facial contusion.
“I know I hit him and I’m really worried about him,” Fultz said after the game about the collision. “It’s just something unfortunate that happened."
Pending the results of surgery, Embiid could miss two to four weeks, according to a report by ESPN's Zach Lowe.
However, the time an NBA player misses with an orbital fracture has varied over the years. This season, New York guard Ron Baker missed one game and Houston center Clint Capela sat out two games after suffering the same injury, although neither had surgery.
Memphis’ Mike Conley missed three playoff games (over 10 days) after undergoing surgery following a nasty orbital fracture during the 2015 postseason, while then-Chicago guard Derrick Rose skipped three weeks prior to the 2015-16 season opener after orbital surgery.
The addition of a concussion certainly changes any potential timetable for Embiid’s return to the lineup.
What isn’t up for debate: Embiid’s impact on the Sixers.
The All-Star center’s 22.9 points, 11.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.8 blocks per game this season are a major reason the team has won eight straight and is headed to the playoffs for the first time in six seasons.
Now the rest of the Sixers will have to carry a much larger load until their centerpiece gets back on the court (see story).
“Maybe I had a little bit more space in that case,” Dario Saric said of playing without Embiid against the Knicks. "Maybe I took a little more responsibility when Joel [left]. Obviously, I think all players share a little bit of responsibility.”