The Philadelphia 76ers announced on Friday evening that first overall pick Ben Simmons suffered a fractured bone in his right foot. As of the announcement on Friday the team was unable to give a timeline for Simmons’ return to the court.
“Further medical evaluation and treatment options are being considered at this time and additional updates will be provided when appropriate” the team said in an announcement on Friday.
The injury reportedly took place on Friday during the team’s final scrimmage of training camp at Stockton University. After an MRI of the foot and ankle, the team learned that Simmons had fractured the fifth metatarsal bone of his right foot. This bone is located in the mid-section of the foot and connects the ankle to the toes. Because of low blood-flow to this area of the foot, healing can be a slow process. Even with surgery, the the foot may be immobilized for six to eight weeks. This almost guarantees that Simmons will miss the team’s regular season opener against the Oklahoma City Thunder on October 26th.
The announcement came just hours after head coach Brett Brown announced that he planned to start Simmons in the team’s first preseason game against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday.
Looking forward, the absence of Simmons means that Dario Saric and Elton Brand will be seeing more minutes at power forward, at least in the beginning of the season. Robert Covington and Richaun Holmes could also see minutes at that position, although it will be hard to replace a player of Simmons’ pedigree. The first overall pick of this past year’s NBA draft, Simmons averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 4.8 assists as a freshman at LSU. Simmons has been heralded for his playmaking and ball handling, something that the Sixers have sorely lacked in the past three seasons. In fact, coach Brett Brown had hoped to play Simmons in a point-forward role this coming season, although that plan is obviously now on hold.