Philadelphia 76ers: Ben Simmons In Doubt For Remainder Of Season

Despite declarations to the contrary, there is a strong chance Ben Simmons will miss the entirety of his rookie season.

All season, the Philadelphia 76ers have maintained that Ben Simmons would most likely appear at some point this season. But a recent report appears to indicate otherwise.

Keith Pompey of Philly.com has reported that the reason Simmons has not made his debut for the 76ers is simply due to the fact that his fractured right foot has not properly healed.

According to Pompey’s report, a source has stated that a CT scan performed on Simmons’ Jones Fracture on January 23 showed that the injury had not yet fully healed. This contradicts the Sixers’ initial prognosis in October, which indicated that Simmons would be sidelined for approximately three months.

But just earlier this week, Sixers’ head coach Brett Brown was adamant Simmons would return to the court at some stage this season.

“Our plan is to still see him on the court, playing games. We just don’t know when. I fully expect him to play this season. He thinks that, and he’s motivated to play.”

In response to the report in Philly.com, Philadelphia made the following press release:

While not completely ruling Simmons out for the season, there is not a great deal of confidence shown here from the Sixers’ president of basketball operations, Bryan Colangelo. The key sentence in this statement was “Ben’s long-term health remains our primary concern.”

Of course, the Sixers are no strangers to foot injuries with their recent lottery picks. Current Rookie of the Year favorite Joel Embiid went through an equally frustrating process with a stress fracture to the navicular bone in his right foot. Unfortunately for Embiid, he re-broke the same bone in the same foot, resulting in him missing the first two seasons of his career.

The Sixers were meticulous in making sure Embiid rehabbed and was given the world best possible treatment — so much so that Embiid spent a portion of his second bout of rehab in Qatar. The Sixers felt the world-class medical treatment available, combined with the lack of distractions being in such a different environment, would provide the best possible outcome for Embiid.

And although they didn’t need reminding, the Sixers only had to look as far as Kevin Durant‘s recent foot injury in terms of proceeding with caution. Like Simmons, Durant also suffered a Jones fracture in his right foot at the beginning of the 2014-15 season which required surgery. Coming off his maiden MVP season, the Oklahoma City Thunder were naturally eager to get him back on the court.

But in their haste to return him to action, Durant was unable to cope the extreme load that accompanies the modern-day NBA. In a nutshell, Durant played just 27 games for the season and wound up that season by having his third bout of surgery on the same foot.

As we now know, foot injuries to big men aren’t something to be trifled with. It’s an extremely delicate process. Simmons’ next scan still isn’t until February 23. But if history has shown us anything, erring on the side of caution will greatly benefit both the Sixers and Simmons.

That means with each passing day, it’s more unlikely that Simmons will make his debut this season.

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