NBA injuries: Joel Embiid could return for Game 3 or 4 against the Heat

The NBA the playoffs have unfortunately been marred by a good number of injuries so far.

The postseason injury bug has affected some of the league’s biggest stars and title favorites, but there’s still time to regroup before the next round.

Here are all the injuries after Thursday’s games.

Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers

The All-NBA center will reportedly not travel to the opening games of the Sixers’ second-round series with the Miami Heat, but may return to the court for Game 3 or 4. Embiid suffered a right orbital fracture and a slight concussion in the Sixers. Decisive series win against the Raptors on Thursday. He was already playing due to a torn ligament in his right thumb, which he suffered in the first round and supposedly planned to have surgery after the season. Game 1 is Monday.

Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns

The Suns got their top scorer back for Game 6 against the New Orleans Pelicans. Booker, who had missed the last three games after sustaining a Grade 1 right hamstring injury in Phoenix’s Game 2 loss last week, finished 5-of-12 – including 1-of-6 away – with 13 points, five rebounds and three assists.

Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks

Middleton missed the remainder of the Bucks’ first-round series against the Chicago Bulls after spraining his anterior cruciate ligament in Milwaukee’s Game 2 loss. Middleton exited the game early in the fourth quarter after slipping awkwardly and falling to the ground.

Middleton is dealing with a Grade 2 sprain, which will likely keep him out of Milwaukee’s second-round series against Boston Celts and possibly the conference finals if the Bucks advance.

Jimmy ButlerMiami heat

Butler was out of Miami’s Game 5 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday with inflammation in his right knee. He averaged 30.5 points – the second-best scoring average in the league this postseason – on 54.3% shooting in four games this series before his injury.

The NBA fined Butler $15,000 for making “an obscene gesture” during the Heat’s first-round victory, the league announced Thursday.

Luka Dončić, Dallas Mavericks

Dončić returned to action for Dallas’ Game 4 against Utah Jazz on Saturday after missing the first three games of the series with a left calf injury he sustained in the Mavs’ regular season finale against incentive of san antonio. He had 30 points and 10 rebounds while shooting 52.9% from the field.

Dončić was apparently unfazed by his calf injury, recording 33 points and 13 rebounds in Game 5 and 24 points and nine rebounds in Game 6 as the Mavs secured a second-round playoff berth against the Suns.

Robert WilliamsBoston Celts

The Boston defensive end, who had been out since March 27 with a torn meniscus, returned to action Saturday and played limited minutes in Game 3 of the first-round playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets. Williams had two points, two rebounds, an assist and a block in 16 minutes.

He added 14 points, three rebounds and three blocks from the bench in the Celtics’ Game 4 win.

Kyle LowryMiami heat

Lowry did not play in the Heat’s Game 4 win over the Hawks after sustaining a left hamstring injury during the third quarter of Miami’s Game 3 loss. He appeared to injure his leg after being tied to a canvas with the small forward. Hawks De’Andre Hunter, stepping awkwardly before losing his balance – and his shoe – in the process.

Ben SimmonsBrooklyn Nets

Simmons, who the Nets traded for in late February, has been sidelined with a herniated disc since arriving in Brooklyn. He did not play in Game 4 of the Nets’ first-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics, despite previous reports that he was on the right track, due to reported back pain.

Zach LaVineChicago buffaloes

LaVine was out of the Bulls’ season-ending loss Wednesday in Game 5 of Chicago’s first-round series to the Milwaukee Bucks after getting into COVID-19 health and safety protocols. The All-Star averaged 19.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and six assists on 42.9% shooting in four games in his first postseason series.

LaVine is expected to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee during the offseason.

Alex Caruso, Chicago buffalo

Caruso was also out of Wednesday’s Game 5 against the Bucks as he remained on concussion protocol. The veteran guard exited Game 4 early after inadvertently getting elbowed in the face by Jevon Carter.

Fred Van VleetToronto Raptors

VanVleet was out of Monday’s Game 5 against the Sixers with a left hip flexor injury. He played less than 15 minutes into Toronto’s Game 4 victory on Saturday before hobbling off the court and ripping your shirt.

The 28-year-old guard had previously dealt with a knee injury this season, missing 14 games since January 25.

Stay tuned for more updates.

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