The Philadelphia 76ers confirmed this afternoon that Ben Simmons’s foot injury was a Jones fracture. This was the most-feared scenario for the rookie, not only because the history of big men with foot problems is not full of happy endings, but because a Jones fracture in particular is a tricky injury. It’s the same injury that held Kevin Durant out for most of the 2014-15 season, and it comes with a higher risk of re-injury than other such fractures due to poor blood supply to that part of the foot. For that reason, as well as the Sixers’ track record of caution and Simmons’ disincentive to risk anything for a terrible team, it’s unlikely he’ll play this season.
The Sixers announced that Simmons had successful surgery today. Here’s the part of their release regarding recovery:
Simmons’ rehabilitation will fall under the supervision of Sixers Director of Performance Research and Development Dr. David T. Martin. “Our sports performance and medical staff was debriefed by Dr. O’Malley following the procedure, and we were encouraged by the positive feedback,” Martin said. “Moving forward, a comprehensive return to court program will be implemented for Ben, and we will closely monitor his progress throughout the rehabilitation process.”Additional information regarding Simmons’ recovery and return to play timetable will be provided as available and when appropriate.
While that doesn’t offer anything in the way of specifics, it’s worth noting that previous Sixers first-rounders Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid each sat out their first seasons (Embiid sat out his second as well) to recover from injuries. The Sixers will once again be a pox on the NBA this season, so it’s not as if Simmons coming back in February will help them push for a playoff spot or anything, so there’s no reason to risk his career for this season.
What’s more interesting is that Ben Simmons is represented by Rich Paul, NBA power agent. He certainly has an incentive to keep Simmons healthy, and is probably powerful enough to keep him on the bench in a situation such as this.
All in all, there’s not a lot of reason to be optimistic that fans will get to see Simmons this year. However, at least there’s this: