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NBA notes: 76ers’ Joel Embiid has concussion, will need surgery to repair orbital fracture

Philadelphia 76ers All-Star center Joel Embiid will need surgery on an orbital fracture of his left eye and he has a concussion.

There was no timetable Thursday on how long Embiid would be sidelined. The 76ers are set to play Friday in Atlanta and Sunday in Charlotte.

Markelle Fultz was driving toward the basket Wednesday against the Knicks when he appeared to accidentally head-butt Embiid. The 7-footer immediately went to the floor. He remained on the floor for several minutes before he was assisted by Philadelphia’s trainer. Embiid sat up once before lying back down on the court. Eventually, he was helped off the court.

Fultz was not injured on the play.

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Embiid passed the concussion test on Wednesday night but later began suffering symptoms that were diagnosed as a concussion and he has been placed in the NBA’s concussion protocol.

The Sixers clearly need their big man if they’re going to make a run in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Embiid, who leads the Sixers with 22.9 points and 11 rebounds in 63 games, helped the team clinch their first playoff berth since 2012. They are 44-30 and fourth in the East with eight games left.

Upshaw gets honorary call-up from Pistons

The Detroit Pistons made an honorary call-up Thursday of G-League guard Zeke Upshaw, who died on Monday.

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“As we look to memorialize Zeke’s basketball career and continue to support his family during this tragically difficult time, executing an honorary call-up recognizes his standing as a member of the Pistons family,” general manager Jeff Bower said.

Upshaw was playing for the Grand Rapids Drive, Detroit’s G-League affiliate, when he collapsed late in Friday’s game against the Long Island Nets. He died two days later of what the Kent County Medical Examiner determined to be heart disease.

The 26-year-old was playing in his second season for Grand Rapids, averaging 7.6 points in 75 games. He played at Illinois State and Hofstra, and after going undrafted he played in Slovenia and Luxembourg.


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