Updates on the status of Ben Simmons, who was sidelined this season with nerve impingement in his lower back, have been optimistic. Back in April, we heard that his back injury had “all but dissipated,”. During a conference call with the media on May 5, Elton Brand said that he’s “very optimistic [Simmons will] be able to play if and when things resume.”
Essentially, the biggest positive from the season being suspended for the Philadelphia 76ers is that Simmons has been able to make good progress with his recovery.
The latest update has come from head coach Brett Brown, who spoke with Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated.
“My opinion, and this is not confirmed yet, is that we are going to be able to inch him back into this,” Brown said, per Mannix. “Is he going to be 100 percent, I don’t expect that. But I think he is going to be available.”
It’s understandable that Brown doesn’t want to come across as overly positive and add unnecessary pressure on Simmons for whenever the NBA resumes. Brown may have felt as though he needed to reign in expectations that Simmons is going to be 100 percent when games start up again. Even if that is the case and Simmons can’t manage his typical workload, it’s still encouraging for the team that he could be available at the very least.
Even more so than other players, who will all be feeling the effects of missing standard training and actual games while the season has been suspended, Simmons will need time to ease back into playing. NBA teams heading to Orlando will have eight regular season “seeding” games to finalize seedings for the playoffs, so the Sixers will have a bit of time before the postseason to try to get as close to normal as possible.
Besides an update on Simmons, we’ve also gained a lot of new insight on the NBA’s plan to return in Orlando this week. From how the league is housing teams at Disney hotels based upon current seeding (the Sixers will be at the Grand Floridian) to the entertainment that will be on offer, you can read up on the main details here.