Joel Embiid Clarifies What Happened to His Eye

While fans have been focused on Joel's eyes and why he wears sunglasses, he has been nursing a knee injury that has limited his playing time.


Apr. 26 2024, Updated 4:15 p.m. ET

Joel Embiid sitting on the bench during game 1 of 76ers vs. Knicks.
Source: Getty Images

Following a devastating loss in the second game of their first-round NBA playoff series against the New York Knicks, the Philadelphia 76ers headed home to continue the series. The team's star, Joel Embiid, garnered some attention after the game not just for his post-game interview, but for the way he held his head in his hands throughout the entirety of the interview.

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Joel was no doubt disappointed that his team had suffered such a close loss. However, some fans began to notice that Joel hadn't been showing off his eyes to anyone in public. Now, many want to know what might have happened to them.

Joel Embiid sitting on the bench during game 1 of 76ers vs. Knicks.
Source: Getty Images
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What happened to Joel Embiid's eyes?

Before anything was reported regarding Joel's eyes, he showed up to a team shootaround wearing sunglasses. He seemed to be wearing sunglasses whenever possible while in public. Of course, he can't wear sunglasses while he's playing, but people still speculated that he was dealing with an eye injury.

At the same time, Joel has also been nursing a knee injury that kept him out of the team's starting lineup for half the year. While Joel has continued to put up incredible numbers, he has looked tentative on that knee at times. He seems unsure whether he can trust the knee or whether he might be on the verge of reinjuring at some point.

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Joel confirmed he has a mild case of Bell's palsy.

In a press conference on Thursday, April 25, Joel revealed that he had been diagnosed with a mild case of Bell's palsy, a condition that causes weakness on one side of the face. 'Pretty annoying with my left side of my face, my mouth and my eye," Joel told reporters at a post-game press conference. "It’s been tough, but I’m not a quitter, so gotta keep fighting."

According to the Mayo Clinic, people experiencing Bell's palsy typically see improvement in their symptoms after a few weeks, and recover completely in about six months. Doctors may also prescribe steroidal medications as treatment. Here's hoping Joel's feeling better as quickly as possible!

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Joel's playoff career has been littered with injuries.

While Joel's eyes don't seem to be impacting his ability to put up 30 points a night, he has yet to find a way to get his team deep in the NBA playoffs. The 76ers haven't made it past the second round of the playoffs with Joel, even though he's the reigning NBA MVP.

Part of the reason the team has struggled in the playoffs is that Joel, who is over 7 feet tall and 300 pounds, is usually at least somewhat injured by the time the playoffs start.

Regardless of the reason, though, many have cast aspersions on the 76ers star and what his legacy will look like if he's never able to make a deep playoff run. Meanwhile, 76ers fans are hoping that he can work some magic and take them to the finals, even if he isn't 100 percent healthy.

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