What's the rumor?
Ben Simmons played just five minutes during Philadelphia's loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Sunday after leaving the game due to a back injury. The injury was reported to be a significant concern to the Sixers, and ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that Ben Simmons could face a lengthy spell on the sidelines:
Ben Simmons will be re-evaluated in two weeks for a nerve impingement in his lower back, but there's little expectation he'll be ready to return to the lineup that soon, sources tell ESPN. While there's no timeline for a Simmons return, an evaluation in two weeks is more of an initial benchmark date than an expectation of a quick return to the lineup, sources said.
In case you didn't know...
After being selected with the No.1 pick of the 2016 NBA draft, Simmons missed the entire 2016–17 season due to a foot injury but played 81 times during his Rookie of the Year winning campaign. Simmons also stayed injury-free during the 2018-19 campaign and appeared in 54 out of Philadelphia's first 57 games this season, averaging 16.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, 8.2 assists, and 2.1 steals in 25.8 minutes per contest.
The heart of the matter
The Sixers have been underwhelming for much of the season, and Simmons' absence will be a huge blow as Brett Brown's side attempt to secure a top-four seed. We will learn more about Simmons' condition in two weeks, although the injury may be serious enough to keep the 23-year-old out until the final few games of the regular season.
Following yesterday's win over the Atlanta Hawks, the Sixers are back in action on Wednesday as they face the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers.