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The Philadelphia 76ers are optimistic that center Joel Embiid can return to the court for Game 3 or 4 of their second-round playoff series against the Miami Heat, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reports.
Embiid sustained a concussion and orbital bone fracture during a collision with Raptors forward Pascal Siakam late in Philadelphia's closeout win over Toronto in Thursday's Game 6.
The play where Joel Embiid got injured pic.twitter.com/GYWDUxupoU
— NBACentral (@TheNBACentral) April 30, 2022
Embiid won't travel to Miami for Games 1 and 2 as he remains in concussion protocol, according to Wojnarowski. He'll need to clear concussion protocol and see a doctor about his fracture before returning to the court.
This is the second postseason injury for Embiid, who also sustained a torn thumb ligament in Philadelphia's series against Toronto. Embiid continued to play through that injury after sustaining it in Game 3. Head coach Doc Rivers told reporters on Saturday that the 76ers will employ a "center by committee" approach while their MVP finalist is sidelined. That means that DeAndre Jordan, Paul Reed, Paul Millsap and rookie Charles Bassey could all split time in the post in a challenging matchup against Miami center Bam Adebayo.
Miami will also start the series down a key starter. The Heat announced on Sunday that point guard Kyle Lowry will miss Game 1 with a lingering hamstring injury that sidelined him for Games 4 and 5 of Miami's first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks. Game 1 between the Heat and 76ers is scheduled for Monday night in Miami.