Philadelphia 76ers’ rookie forward Ben Simmons suffered a Jones fracture in his right foot during a practice in early October. He was forced to undergo surgery on the injury a few days later, though there is still no official timetable for his return to the court.
Simmons addressed the media prior to the 76ers’ regular season-opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday evening and commented on his status, via ESPN.
“I’ll come back when I’m ready,” he said. “There’s no timetable to getting healthy. I’m just working hard to get back and as soon as they tell me I can play, I’ll get out there.”
There has been speculation that the franchise could hold Simmons out for the season as a precaution. Earlier in the week, though, Philadelphia head coach Brett Brown said he was optimistic about Simmons’ status and targeted a January return.
He would walk back those comments on Wednesday, and said, “I was just getting excited about how soon he might be able to come back. There is so much speculation and dates as a coach you sort of want to hear what you want to hear at a time. I did mention a January hopeful return. That is premature. […] That is a coach doing a lot more wishing than receiving instruction. So we will play this out. Everything is on track with his rehabilitation.”
Given the injury issues that the 76ers have had with fellow lottery picks like Joel Embiid, Nerlens Noel and Jahlil Okafor, it would make plenty of sense for the team to be as cautious as possible with Simmons’ injury. Foot issues have ruined the promising careers of numerous big men in the past and there is certainly no need for the 76ers to rush Simmons back out there prematurely.
Philadelphia lost their regular season-opener to the Thunder, 103-97.