After what happened to Joel Embiid over his first two seasons, the Philadelphia 76ers have taken extreme caution with their prized No. 1 overall pick following his foot injury.
So much so, Simmons may not even suit up for the Sixers this season.
Here were some quotes from Sixers head coach Brett Brown via Bob Cooney of The Philadelphia Inquirer regarding a potential Simmons return.
Last week, coach Brett Brown said that for Simmons to be ready for game activity, the first overall pick of the 2016 draft out of LSU would have to play more than five five-on-five games in practice. Simmons has not played since suffering a foot fracture Sept. 30, the last day of training camp. Asked before Monday’s game against the Hornets whether Simmons would start playing some more and get to the five-on-five area, Brown didn’t hesitate with his answer.
“I don’t think so,” he said. “I feel like he’s moving forward, but to say that we believe he’s going to be ready for five-on-five during the All-Star break would be misleading. I don’t see that.
“He is moving forward, but it’s at a very slow pace, our pace. I think when we all get back and he’s around the team again, because it’s not an ideal situation to manufacture five-on-five during a break, then we can better craft and construct to allow the return to play to be more responsible.”
You’d think they are going to baby Embiid following the torn meniscus news and if Simmons isn’t with the entire team at his disposal, the brass may instead feel it is best to unleash him next year.
A month ago the entire city was buzzing when Philly stormed out of the gates to start the new year and rose up the pecking order of the NBA standings and clawing toward possible playoff contention. A healthy Embiid and the possibility of Simmons would’ve been fun to seem them fight for a playoff spot.
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