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Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid says he’s being treated for Bell’s palsy

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Joel Embiid said after the Philadelphia 76ers’ win over the New York Knicks Thursday night that he’s been dealing with a case of Bell’s palsy, a health condition that causes facial muscle weakness, pain and discomfort.

“It’s pretty annoying. My left side of my face, my mouth and my eye, so yeah, it’s been tough,” Embiid said, “but I’m not a quitter, so I got to keep fighting through anything. It’s unfortunate, that’s the way I look at it. That’s not an excuse, I got to keep pushing.”

Embiid said he started to notice the symptoms a day or two before the NBA Play-In Tournament game against the Miami Heat after he had bad migraines.

Recently, Embiid has been seen wearing sunglasses indoors before games during the playoffs. He’s also not 100% after returning from a left knee injury that sidelined him for two months.

“I just love playing the game,” Embiid said. “I want to play as much as possible. I only got about eight more years left, so I got to enjoy this as much as possible, and I want to win.”

Still, Embiid scored a playoff career-high 50 points in the Sixers’ win over the Knicks in Game 3 of the first round of the NBA playoffs.

With Thursday’s win, the Sixers now trail 2-1 in the series. Game 4 will be Sunday afternoon at Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia. 

What is Bell’s palsy?

Bell’s palsy is “an unexplained episode of facial muscle weakness or paralysis,” according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

According to Johns Hopkins, the condition results from damage to the facial nerve, and pain and discomfort usually occur on one side of the person’s face or head.

Bell’s palsy isn’t considered permanent, but in rare cases, it does not disappear. According to Johns Hopkins, there’s currently no cure for Bell’s palsy, but recovery usually begins two to six months from the onset of symptoms.

The cause of Bell’s palsy is not known.

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