TORONTO, ON - APRIL 28: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers drips blood from his brow after a 132-97 win in Game Six of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena on April 28, 2022 in Toronto, Canada.

By Dylan MacKinnon

Just when the mood around the Sixers was picking up, the news has come out that Joel Embiid has suffered a heartbreaking injury. He fractured his right Orbital Bone. An injury he suffered late in Game 6 while up 30pts when Pascal Siakam elbowed Embiid in the face.  The Timetable for his return is unclear, but he is out for at least game 1. In all likelihood, it will be much longer than that. Embiid is also reportedly dealing with a minor concussion.

It is the same injury Embiid suffered back in 2018 when it was Markelle Fultz’s shoulder that collided with Embiid’s face. That time it was a 22-day recovery time, but much of that was at the end of the regular season. He missed the first two games of the Sixers Round 1 match-up vs the Heat that year. It is unclear if he would have returned faster if it occurred during the playoffs. Embiid had to wear a mask over his face upon returning that time.

What it means is the Sixers will have to face the Heat without their MVP, at least for now. They were already underdogs to begin the series, and the odds will surely plummet upon this news breaking. In Embiid’s absence, Paul Reed and DeAndre Jordan will likely play in his place.

Shams Charania was the first to break the news, which was quickly confirmed by the team. The heartbreaking injury has put a sour note on what were some good vibes heading into this series. Even as the underdogs, the team and city alike felt good after the team’s tremendous Game 6 performance. Now they have to face the number 1 seed without their best player.