Joel Embiid reveals Bell’s palsy diagnosis after starring for Philadelphia 76ers

Embiid scored 50 points against the Knicks  (Getty Images)
Embiid scored 50 points against the Knicks (Getty Images)

Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid has revealed he has been diagnosed with Bell’s palsy, a facial condition affecting the muscles on one side of the face.

The All-Star centre scored 50 points against the New York Knicks on Thursday night, before revealing he has been battling the condition since the start of the NBA play-offs two weeks ago.

Bell’s palsy is not considered permanent but Embiid said he has no timescale on how long it may take to recover. Embiid’s face appeared to droop on one side during the win over the Knicks, and he has been wearing sunglasses to hide his symptoms during press conferences.

Embiid said he had been battling blurred vision and dry eyes during the game against the Knicks but said he is “not a quitter”.

"My body was just, I was just not feeling it," Embiid said. "Yes, it’s pretty annoying. My left side of my face, my mouth and my eye. It’s been tough.

“But I’m not a quitter. I’m going to keep fighting through anything. It’s unfortunate, that’s the way I look at it. But it’s not an excuse. I’ve got to keep pushing.

“It hasn’t really necessarily gotten better. With the conversations that I’ve had, it could be weeks, it could be months.

“I just hope that it stays like this. I’ve got a beautiful face. I don’t like when my mouth is looking the other way. Unfortunate situation but everything happens for a reason.”

Embiid said he noticed migraines before telling doctors he wasn’t feeling feel before Philadelphia played the Miami Heat on April 17, where he was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy.

The 76ers lead the series 2-1 and Game 4 is on Sunday.