After Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid were ruled out of Sunday’s NBA All-Star game due to coming into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, we have received some good news. Both players have continued to test negative, which is obviously the most important thing in this situation. Their health moving forward matters far more than simply missing a couple of the Philadelphia 76ers’ upcoming games.
We do have an update from The Athletic’s Shams Charania, though. Both Simmons and Embiid are completing seven-day quarantine periods. If they continue to test negative, this will allow Embiid to return on Friday for the Sixers’ game against the Washington Wizards, while Simmons would be clear by Saturday and make his return on Sunday against the San Antonio Spurs.
As long as each continues to test negative, Joel Embiid will be available to play on Friday at Washington and Ben Simmons will be clear to return on Saturday. Both Embiid and Simmons received seven-day quarantines due to exposure to individual who tested positive for COVID-19. https://t.co/mhZmLSsZxt— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) March 9, 2021
As Marc Stein of The New York Times clarified, Simmons and Embiid are completing the seven-day quarantine period from when they were exposed to the person who tested positive.
It’s obviously unfortunate that the Sixers are going to return from the All-Star break without their two stars. The Bulls won’t be such a favorable matchup for the Sixers without Simmons and Embiid. And even though Philly should have enough firepower to handle the 14-20 Wizards on Friday, we know how valuable Simmons’ playmaking and ball handling is to the offense, and how important his stellar defense would have been for guarding Bradley Beal.
But, again, as long as Simmons and Embiid continue to test negative and they stay healthy, that’s what matters most. Players like Jayson Tatum and Seth Curry have shown the lingering impact that having COVID can have even on professional athletes, as they’ve both struggled with their energy levels and conditioning since returning.
Hopefully Simmons and Embiid remain negative, and they’re back in action for the Sixers to be able to get back to full strength at the end of this week. We’ll keep you updated if there are any new developments.