Joel Embiid injury update: 76ers star begins recovery process after surgery; still no timetable for return

The Philadelphia 76ers held off LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night for their biggest victory in over a decade. Not only was it their 13th win in a row, but it propelled them ahead of the Cavs into third place in the Eastern Conference. And making it even more impressive, was the fact that they did it without Joel Embiid

The Sixers' star big man has not played since March 28, when he collided with Markelle Fultz during the team's win over the New York Knicks. Initially thought to just be a contusion, it turned out Embiid had suffered a fractured orbital bone, and underwent surgery on March 31. 

It's still unclear when we'll see Embiid back on the court, but the team did release an update on his recovery. According to the doctors, everything went well with his surgery, but it is yet to be determined when they will clear him to return to the court. As for now, he will begin with cardio work this weekend. Via ESPN:

Philadelphia 76ers All-Star center Joel Embiid is slated to begin light cardio work this weekend as he begins the recovery process from the head injuries he suffered last week in a collision with teammate Markelle Fultz.

Embiid has been cleared of his concussion by an independent doctor, the Sixers said, but he still needs to complete the NBA's concussion protocol. The Sixers said doctors are pleased with how Embiid's orbital fracture is healing.

"Embiid underwent a post-operative examination by Dr. Jurij R. Bilyk and Dr. Howard Krein following successful surgery last Saturday to address the fractured orbital bone in his left eye," the 76ers said in a statement. "The surgeons were pleased with how the affected area is presenting to date and will determine when it is safe and medically advisable for Embiid to return to play."

According to a report from Adrian Wojnarowski, Embiid could return in the playoffs, but, again, the information presented at this time is vague and unclear. 

League sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski that Embiid could return early in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

Still, it's good news for the Sixers, who could have Embiid back before the end of the first round. And besides, given how well they've been playing without him, they should be playing long enough into the postseason that Embiid will be fully healed and ready to go. 

NBA Writer

Jack Maloney lives and writes in Milwaukee, where, like the Bucks, he is trying to own the future. Full Bio

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