Sources: Sixers’ Embiid cleared for Game 3
MIAMI — Barring a setback in pregame warmups, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid has been cleared to play in Thursday night’s Game 3 of their first-round playoff series against the Miami Heat, sources tell ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.
Embiid has been cleared both as having healed from an orbital fracture suffered last month, and for the style of protective mask he’ll wear.
Earlier this afternoon, the 76ers upgraded his status to probable, from doubtful.
Embiid has missed the first two games of the Heat-Sixers series, which is tied 1-1. The 24-year-old has been sidelined since March 28 because of a broken orbital bone and a concussion.
He cleared the NBA’s concussion protocol earlier this week and practiced with the team on Tuesday and Wednesday. Embiid also participated in shootaround on Thursday morning but had yet to be cleared for full contact, Sixers coach Brett Brown said.
Brown has stressed that Embiid — who averaged 22.9 points, 11.0 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 63 games in the regular season — will not be rushed back if Philadelphia falls behind in the best-of-seven series against Miami. “It’s about what’s best for Joel’s health,” Brown said earlier this week.
Brown said on Thursday that the decision to activate Embiid will be a collaborative one involving team doctors, the player and other members of the organization. Embiid had expressed frustration on social media after sitting out of the Sixers’ Game 2 loss on Monday.
“We feel like we are (all) responsible with his health,” Brown said Thursday.