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Joel Embiid: Philadelphia 76ers center equipped with protective mask and could return in Game 3 after clearing concussion protocol |  NBA News

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid could return against the Miami Heat on Friday after a right orbital fracture and mild concussion kept him out of the first two games of the Eastern Conference Semifinals series. .

This season’s NBA champion scorer is doing everything possible to be available to play in Game 3 tonight in Philadelphia against the Miami Heat and has been fitted with a protective mask, reports Shams Charania of Athleticism. He’s also cleared NBA concussion protocols, meaning he can play if he feels capable.

Charania reported: “There is optimism Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid will return tonight in Game 3 against Heat, sources say. He has been fitted with a mask and will need to feel at home. ease before the green light. efforts recently.”

The 28-year-old suffered the injury at 3:58 of Game 6 last Thursday in Toronto as the 76ers led 29 points and were on course for a decisive East Round 1 win over the Raptors.

He was hit in the face by a Pascal Siakam at the wheel, and immediately took several steps back in obvious pain. Embiid left the game moments after fellow Cameroonian Siakam’s knock and was later diagnosed with an orbital fracture and a mild concussion.

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Joel Embiid scored 33 points to go with 10 rebounds to help the Philadelphia 76ers win Game 6 and close the series with the Toronto Raptors

After sustaining a similar fracture on the other side of his face, Embiid wore a specially designed mask in 2018 when he returned, even after surgery. This time he could well be back before undergoing surgery as the Sixers chase a championship. He also suffers from a thumb ligament injury, but surgery for that injury will wait until after the summer.

Embiid led the 76ers with averages of 30.6 points, 11.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.5 blocks per game during the regular season and averaged 26.2 points and 11.3 rebounds in six games against the Raptors.

He is one of three finalists for MVP, along with Nikola Jokic of Denver and Giannis Antetokounmpo of Milwaukee, and Embiid was the first international player to win the scoring title. Embiid was also the first center to win the scoring crown since Shaquille O’Neal in 1999-2000.

The rush for live NBA playoff games continues on Sky Sports this week – see the list of games here and subscribe to watch the action live.

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