Joel Embiid collided with Markelle Fultz at the start of the second quarter Wednesday, as the Sixers took on the Knicks looking to continue to climb up the Eastern Conference playoff ladder.
In the play, which was more or less a dribble handoff between the two young stars, Embiid appeared to be struck in the head or the jaw by Fultz and immediately fell to the floor.
Scary moment as Joel Embiid heads to the locker room following a collision on the court pic.twitter.com/OQ7Ay13hn3— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) March 28, 2018
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He writhed in pain, holding his head after a time out was called and medical personnel attended to the 7-foot-2 center. Embiid got up under his own power and gingerly walked to the locker room to be examined. A double digit lead by Philly was not surprisingly chipped completely away by New York (taking the lad with 1:48 to play) as many in the building pondered how serious the injury could turn out to be.
As CSNPhilly's Jessica Camerato would report midway through the second, Embiid passed the concussion protocol but any other timeframe information was unknown as the game progressed.
Joel Embiid suffered a facial contusion and will not return. He went through the concussion protocol, no concussion.— Jessica Camerato (@JCameratoNBCS) March 28, 2018
What is a facial contusion and how long will Embiid be out with it? According to Penn State's medical website: A contusion is another word for a bruise. It happens when small blood vessels break open and leak blood into the nearby area. A facial contusion can result from a bump, hit, or fall. This may happen during sports or an accident. Symptoms of a contusion often include changes in skin color (bruising), swelling, and pain.
Philly surely will need a healthy Embiid if they want to make a deep playoff run. He leads the team in scoring and rebounding and is on pace to be the first player in NBA history to average 20 points and 11 rebounds per game while playing less than 31 minutes per game.
Embiid has a long injury history, with several foot surgeries keeping him out for two entire seasons before making his NBA debut in 2016-17. He was shut down last winter with knee injuries and had knee surgery. He has played in 62 games thus far this season. It would make sense to surmise that Embiid will be played sparingly with the playoffs two weeks away.
Check back for updates on Embiid's status.