Joel Embiid's injury is more serious than previously believed and he could miss the playoffs

  • Philadelphia 76ers All-Star center Joel Embiid will require surgery to treat an orbital fracture in his left eye, the team announced on Thursday.
  • The surgery means that the Sixers will likely be without their best player to start their first postseason run since 2012.
  • Embiid suffered the injury after colliding with the newly returned teammate and 2017 first overall pick Markelle Fultz during the Sixers game against the New York Knicks on Wednesday.

Philadelphia 76ers All-Star center Joel Embiid will require surgery to treat an orbital fracture in his left eye, the Sixers announced on Thursday.

The injury puts Embiid's playoff availability for the Sixers in jeopardy, at least for the first round, as his timetable for return has yet to be determined. Embiid also is reported to have a concussion, despite initially passing the league's concussion protocol.

Embiid suffered the injury on Wednesday night after colliding with the newly returned teammate and 2017 first overall pick Markelle Fultz during the Sixers game against the New York Knicks — Embiid received a pass from Fultz, and then Fultz got too close to Embiid while attempting to run off him on a pick. The crowd immediately reacted as Embiid fell to the floor and laid there for the remainder of the play.

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Joel Embiid taken to hospital after hit to head
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Joel Embiid taken to hospital after hit to head
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 28: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers lies on the court after a collision with Markelle Fultz #20 of the Philadelphia 76ers in the second quarter against the New York Knicks at the Wells Fargo Center on March 28, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 28: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers lies on the court after a collision with Markelle Fultz #20 of the Philadelphia 76ers in the second quarter against the New York Knicks at the Wells Fargo Center on March 28, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 28: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers lies on the court after a collision with Markelle Fultz #20 of the Philadelphia 76ers in the second quarter against the New York Knicks at the Wells Fargo Center on March 28, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 28: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers lies on the court after a collision with Markelle Fultz #20 of the Philadelphia 76ers in the second quarter against the New York Knicks at the Wells Fargo Center on March 28, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 28: Philadelphia 76ers Center Joel Embiid (21) is attended to for an injury in the first half during the game between the New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers on March 28, 2018 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 28: Philadelphia 76ers Center Joel Embiid (21) is attended to for an injury in the first half during the game between the New York Knicks and Philadelphia 76ers on March 28, 2018 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
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The Sixers were set to enter the postseason as one of the hottest teams in all of basketball, having won eight straight and with a favorable schedule ahead of them. Now, it looks as though they'll at the very least enter the first round of the playoffs without their leading scorer and rebounder, and the centerpiece of their defense.

The news is especially heartbreaking because Markelle Fultz was on the other side of the collision. Fultz, the Sixers much-maligned first overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, was playing in just his second game back with the team after missing the majority of the season after his shot mysteriously disappeared amidst shoulder issues.

Posting to Twitter, Embiid said he would simply "Trust the Process" and teased the idea of him playing in a mask with the hashtag #Two-Face.

For now, the Sixers will have to wait and see how Embiid recovery goes, putting a damper on the high playoff hopes the team had entering their first postseason since 2012.

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The most devastating and impactful sports injuries of 2017
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The most devastating and impactful sports injuries of 2017
Warning: Some of these injuries may be difficult to look at. Viewer discretion is advised. 

Brand new Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward dislocated his ankle and fractured his tibia within the first few minutes of Boston's season opener against the Cleveland Cavaliers. 

(Photo by Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters)

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers broke his collarbone on October 15, 2017 while playing against the Minnesota Vikings. Prior to Week 15, Rodgers said he had been medically cleared to return

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Chicago Bears tight end Zach Miller nearly lost his leg after he landed awkwardly during a touchdown catch -- that was later overturned.

(Photo by Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters)

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman's season ended after a ruptured Achilles tendon during Thursday Night Football.

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt's season ended after he injured his left knee on October 8.

(Photo by Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

On March 6, Andrew Bogut broke his leg less than one minute into his debut with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Johan Camargo of the Atlanta Braves fell to the ground running onto the field in a strange freak accident.

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

New York Jets quarterback Josh McCown broke his hand, ending his season after Week 14. 

(Photo by Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters)

Ryan Shazier of the Pittsburgh Steelers suffered a scary injury that left him motionless on the field and may have ended his football career.

(Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)

In the first game of the season, Eric Berry of the Kansas City Chiefs ruptured his Achilles tendon, ending his season.

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

On October 8, Odell Beckham Jr. suffered a scary-looking injury to his ankle and was carted off the field in tears

(Photo by Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters)

Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper suffered a bone bruise after landing awkwardly on first base during a game in August. 

(Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)

New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman was ruled out for the entire season after tearing his ACL during a preseason game.

(Photo by Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Rookie running back Dalvin Cook of the Minnesota Vikings tore his ACL during Week 4, ending his season. 

(Photo by Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters)

San Francisco Giants ace Madison Bumgarner missed 3 months of the 2017 season after suffering a shoulder injury in a dirt biking accident. 

(Photo by Michael Thomas/Getty Images)

Running back David Johnson of the Arizona Cardinals dislocated his wrist during the Cardinals' season opener. It was announced that he would miss the entire season.

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

New York Mets ace Noah Syndergaard was sidelined for much of the season after tearing a lat muscle in April.

(Photo by Joshua Sarner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury of the Vegas Golden Knights missed 25 games after taking a knee to the head on October 15. 

(Photo by Jeff Bottari/NHLI via Getty Images)

Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout spent time on the disabled list for the first time in his career this season after tearing a ligament in his thumb. He missed 39 games.

(Patrick Farrell/Miami Herald/TNS via Getty Images)

Isaiah Thomas was sidelined by a hip injury during the Eastern Conference Finals. When he was later traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers, further issues with his hip nearly nullified the agreement. 

(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Impressive young quarterback Deshaun Watson of the Houston Texans sustained an ACL injury during practice in November and was ruled out for the remainder of the year.

(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Tom Savage, who took over for the injured Watson, suffered an unsettling concussion during Week 14 play that had many questioning the NFL's injury protocol. 

(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck did not play a game in 2017 after undergoing shoulder surgery.

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Anaheim Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf took a puck to his face on October 29, sidelining him for up to two months after surgery.

(Photo by James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters)

Jeremy Lin of the Brooklyn Nets will miss the entire season after tearing a tendon in his knee during the team's season opener.

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz went down in Week 14 with a torn ACL, ending his season and shaking the team's Super Bowl hopes.

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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