Ben Simmons’ injury is worse than originally thought.
After leaving Wednesday’s win over the Washington Wizards with a knee injury, the Philadelphia 76ers point guard was initially reported as day-to-day. The 76ers announced on Thursday that he suffered a subluxation of his left patella — a partially dislocated knee cap — in his left leg.
He’s out indefinitely.
‘This one stings’
The 76ers don’t sound optimistic about his outlook.
“This one stings, for sure,” head coach Brett Brown told reporters. “We all felt like, with the pandemic ... it obviously bought time for Ben.”
Another injury for Simmons
Simmons entered bubble play having missed Philadelphia’s last eight games before the COVID-19 shutdown with a pinched nerve in his back. Now the 76ers will make a playoff push without their All-Star guard.
Simmons suffered the injury in the third quarter while grabbing an offensive rebound. He limped off the court after landing awkwardly and did not return to the game. He was later seen in street clothes limping from the locker room.
76ers’ playoff outlook
Simmons had shifted to point forward to start bubble play, allowing Shake Milton to start in the backcourt. Al Horford will likely return to the starting lineup alongside Joel Embiid as Milton maintains point guard duties.
“If I had to tilt one way or another, I will pair them,” Brown said of Horford and Embiid, per ESPN. “ ... We've played around in game planning and spitballed what this actually looks like now. If you made me weigh one area or the other, I would pair them.”
Simmons, 23, has averaged 16.4 points, eight assists and 7.8 rebounds this season, his second straight as an All-Star. The 76ers aren’t in danger of dropping from their position as the East’s No. 6 seed, holding a nine-game lead over the Brooklyn Nets with five games remaining. They’re one game back of the Indiana Pacers and two games behind the Miami Heat, meaning there is room to move up.
The playoffs are slated to start on Aug. 17. It’s not clear if the 76ers can expect Simmons to return by then.
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