Just when the Philadelphia 76ers thought they were finally getting a full, healthy season out of Joel Embiid, a put Embiid's status for the rest of the regular season, and their first-round playoff series, in jeopardy.
The Sixers announced that Embiid had successful surgery to repair a fractured orbital bone in his left eye, and there is currently no timetable for his recovery.
However, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports that the Sixers center could be back in action two weeks from now.
Embiid was also diagnosed with a concussion, but those symptoms will likely dissipate by the time he recovers from surgery. A two-week timetable would put Embiid back on the court around April 14, the same day that the NBA playoffs are scheduled to begin. That means, in theory, that he could play in the Sixers' entire first-round series -- but that's best-case scenario. We all know how careful the Philadelphia organization has been when it comes to injuries, so the 76ers will likely want to make sure their franchise center is completely healthy before bringing him back.
Winners of nine straight games, the 76ers have stormed their way up the Eastern Conference playoff standings, all the way to the No. 4 spot. They trailed No. 3 Cleveland by just half a game entering Saturday, and were a half-game ahead of fifth-place Indiana.
Just a few weeks ago, Philly looked like a dangerous low-seed that could give one of the top seeds a run for their money in the first round. Now, with a possibly healthy Embiid to go along with Ben Simmons, a roster full of shooting and a wild-card in Markelle Fultz, the Sixers will likely be the favorite to advance to the second round, no matter who they play.