Joel Embiid injury update: 76ers star listed as doubtful for Game 3 against Heat

Joel Embiid could be out for yet another NBA Playoff game. Embiid has been out since March 28 recovering from an orbital fracture. He missed the 76ers' dominant win over the Heat in Game 1 and their Game 2 loss.

When Embiid does return, he will wear a mask to protect his face from aggravating the injury. His concussion is no longer an issue as Embiid cleared the league's protocol on Sunday. Embiid has been posting pictures on social media of him wearing the mask which gave hope that he would soon make a return. However, Philadelphia is being cautious with its prized big man. 

Sixers coach Brett Brown says their big man did some contact work, and passed the eye test:

After Philadelphia's loss in Game 2, some of Embiid's frustration with that caution slipped out. He posted on Snapchat that he was tired of being babied and later told ESPN that he's not sure if he'll able to play in Game 3 either. 

With Game 3 on Thursday in Miami, the 76ers are starting off listing Embiid as doubtful. Players have gone from doubtful to playing before, but this is not an optimistic sign. Brett Brown would go so far as to call his stance on it "neutral."

Some fans and experts were worried entering the playoffs that the 76ers would struggle without Embiid. He's their best player and is considered a Defensive Player of The Year candidate this season, but Game 1 proved that the 76ers can handle their business without him. Philadelphia isn't the type of organization that would allow a player to rush back, but it will need to convince Embiid that he's not costing any games on the bench while during his recovery process.

It's hard to think that Embiid will miss the entire first round. His appearance before Game 1, clearing the concussion protocol and the social media posts in between all indicate he's close to a return. It just depends when the 76ers are willing to let him back on the floor.

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