Joel Embiid injury update: 76ers All-Star center confirmed out for Game 1 against Heat
The 76ers will be without one of their key players to start the series against Miami
The Philadelphia 76ers are playing in their first playoff game since 2012 on Saturday, but they'll be without one of their key players against the Miami Heat. Joel Embiid will miss Game 1 after breaking a bone near his left eye in a collision with rookie Markelle Fultz.
Although he's been cleared of concussion protocol, Embiid has been wearing a mask in shootaround, and as recently as Wednesday he told the Associated Press that he wasn't feeling up to par.
''I don't think I'm ready to play,'' he said, via Sports Illustrated. ''It still doesn't feel all the way right.'' Embiid got surgery for the injury on March 31, and he seems to be recovering fairly quickly.
Of course, with the way the 76ers played down the stretch without him, it makes sense why there's no urgency to rush Embiid back. They went 8-0 without their big man, ending the season on an overall 16-game win streak, just two shy of the franchise's regular-season record. Ben Simmons has proven he can lead the team without the 7-foot center, while Fultz has provided a welcome spark.
Don't think that this injury is getting Embiid down, mind you. He had a reference-laden tweet that covered everything from Bane to the Phantom of the Opera to the 76ers' Process on Wednesday.
The Heat will be visiting the 76ers on Saturday to open the series, and rest assured the Wells Fargo Center will be rocking when the game tips at 8 ET. Embiid will definitely be amping up the crowd in his own unique way, as the 76ers try to continue what's already been a stellar season with a playoff win in their first series in six years.
Embiid's timetable to return is still unclear, but expect this same level of speculation until it's officially heard one way or the other on Embiid's status on Monday.
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