There is optimism for the Philadelphia 76ers Joel Embiid Sources told ESPN on Sunday that she could return as soon as her third or fourth game of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Miami Heat.
Sources said Embiid will not travel for Games 1 and 2 (Monday and Wednesday) due to a fractured orbit and a concussion, but Wednesday’s reassessment could pave the way for his return when the series moves to Philadelphia on Friday.
Sources said there is an expectation that Embiid will clear protocols for concussion soon, and will need permission to play with a facial injury – most likely with a protective mask.
Embiid – who was already playing with a ligament tear in his right thumb – suffered an orbital fracture in the final minutes of the Sixers’ Game 6 win over the Toronto Raptors on Thursday.
Sixers coach Doc Rivers told reporters after practice Saturday that Philadelphia will try various options to replace Embiid, including the sophomore senior. Paul Reed – Who impressed as a substitute Embiid against Toronto – Veterans Deandre Jordan And Paul Millsap upward Charles Bassi.
“We might need all four guys, even if it’s just for minutes,” Rivers said. “The only thing is that Miami, if nothing else, is smart. They’re an ugly magnet. That’s a concern for us. Two reasons: They shoot free throws really well, so we don’t want to play a full streak in the penalty kick, and No. 2, make Some of our men are in trouble.
“bam [Adebayo] He does a great job at it, Jimmy Butler Might be the best in the series right now without Joel, and Kyle Lowry do that. We just have to be very smart about how we plan for our seniors.”
ESPN’s Tim Bontemps contributed to this report.