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The Philadelphia 76ers were delivered a tough blow to their title hopes on Friday as superstar Joel Embiid will be sidelined indefinitely.
Embiid suffered a right orbital fracture and mild concussion in Thursday’s Game 6 win over the Toronto Raptors and there is no timetable for his return, according to The Athletic and Stadium’s Shams Charania.
The big man appeared to suffer the injury when Raptors veteran Pascal Siakam drove to the hoop and inadvertently elbowed him in the face with 3:58 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Embiid’s health became a major storyline for the 76ers in their first-round playoff series against the Toronto Raptors when it was revealed he suffered a torn thumb ligament even though he elected to play through it and delay any potential surgery.
Health is always on the forefront when it comes to the 28-year-old considering he sat out the first two seasons of his NBA career with foot issues and has never played more than 68 games in a single campaign.
Still, he appeared in a career-best number of games this season as an MVP candidate who carried the 76ers while averaging 30.6 points, 11.7 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1.1 steals per game behind 49.9 percent shooting from the field and 37.1 percent shooting from deep.
Philadelphia is a championship contender when he is healthy and on the floor, but it is difficult to envision it fulfilling those hopes and expectations if he is sidelined for a long period of time.
Look for the 76ers to potentially rely on DeAndre Jordan for some minutes while Embiid is sidelined.