Sixers center Joel Embiid, recovering from a broken bone near his left eye, says he likely won't be ready for Game 1 of the NBA Playoffs against the Miami Heat, but when he does return, he wants the NBA to allow him to use a black mask, which is against the rules.
Embiid hasn't played since March 28, when he collided with teammate Markelle Fultz. He has been cleared of a concussion after surgery on March 31.
He wore the black mask during pregame shooting drills and would need one in the postseason.
"I don't think I'm ready to play," he said on Wednesday night before the Sixers beat the Milwaukee Bucks for their 16th consecutive victory. "It still doesn't feel all the way right."
Embiid said, via nba.com, it's "unlikely but still a chance," he plays in Game 1.
"I want to play but right now I feel like I'm not ready yet," Embiid said. "It's getting there. I've got to keep working every day. With the way it's been progressing, I'm hopeful I'll be back soon."
He added: "I'm actually surprised how fast it is getting better."
Embiid lobbied for his black mask. NBA rules currently allow only clear masks, but Embiid said he will appeal.