Joel Embiid suffered a right orbital fracture and mild concussion during the Sixers' Game 6 win Thursday over the Raptors, the team said Friday night in a statement. He is out and the Sixers say they will provide updates on his status "as appropriate."
It's a deeply unfortunate case of déjà vu for the team and Embiid. The 28-year-old MVP finalist sustained a left orbital fracture and concussion in March of 2018 in a collision with teammate Markelle Fultz. Embiid had surgery, missed the remainder of the regular season, and returned for Game 3 of the Sixers' first-round playoff series against the Heat wearing a protective mask. The Sixers beat Miami in five games, then lost to the Celtics in Round 2.
Four years later, the Sixers and Heat will begin their second-round series on Monday night in Miami.
Embiid had been playing through a torn ligament in his right thumb, but he turned in an excellent series-clinching performance, posting 33 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks. With the Sixers up 29 points and 3:58 remaining, Pascal Siakam elbowed Embiid in the face on a layup attempt. The five-time All-Star watched the rest of garbage time from the bench, where he was attended to by Sixers head athletic trainer Kevin Johnson.
Twenty-two year-old Paul Reed was Embiid's backup in the Toronto series. DeAndre Jordan did not play besides guarding the final inbounds pass of Game 3. That was his first playoff action since 2017. Paul Millsap, another past-his-prime veteran option at center, also did not appear.
Miami's Jimmy Butler (right knee inflammation) and Kyle Lowry (left hamstring strain) both missed Game 5 of the Heat's first-round series win over the Hawks and did not participate in the team's practice Friday.