Ben Simmons has been sidelined for the start of his rookie year due to a fracture in the fifth metatarsal bone in his right foot that he suffered at the beginning of October. The No. 1 overall pick had surgery and was expected to be out for three months. In late October, Sixers coach Brett Brown said that Simmons would return in January and it appears he is getting closer and closer to taking the court with each passing day.
Simmons showed up to Sixers practice yesterday with no walking boot and shot free throws, which triggered a buzz in the practice facility.
“He walked out on the court in sneakers and he shot free throws,” Brown said. “So, that is significant to me. You’re like, I got yah. Here we go.”
Simmons and Brown have been working together off the court and the coach calls the player’s progress “fantastic:”
“From a non-medical standpoint and just his coach, the evolution that he and I have been able to have in a classroom and on a court, in talking things through over the past few months, is fantastic.”
Fellow rookie Joel Embiid, who missed his first two seasons with injuries, can empathize with Simmons. Embiid said that he’s “sure [Simmons] is happy about” coming back to the court and that he’s “sure he’s going to get better, too:”
“Now, you can get back on the court, you can start doing more stuff, you can start shooting. It just frees you up, and I’m sure he’s happy about it.
“I got better. I’m sure he’s going to get better, too.”