Ben Simmons to Have Surgery, Miss Approximately Three Months
According to Marc Stein of ESPN, 76ers rookie forward Ben Simmons will require surgery to repair a broken bone in his right foot and will be sidelined for roughly three months.
Simmons suffered the injury during Friday’s scrimmage, the final practice the Sixers were scheduled to have during training camp at Stockton University. Simmons suffered the injury when landing on teammate Shawn Long’s foot, according to Stein.
The timeline means Simmons could be out of the lineup until late December or early January.
During Monday’s media day session, Simmons noted that he had gained 33 pounds of muscle, going from 217 pounds to 250 pounds over the summer. That caused many to speculate that the increased weight had something to do with his injury. However, Simmons weighed in at 239 pounds at the Nike Hoop Summit in April 2015, and then weighed in at 240 pounds at the LSU pro day last October. According to Stein’s report Simmons then weighed in at 240 pounds once again in July 2016 and 244 pounds last week, showing little fluctuation from his typical playing weight.
There has been quite a bit of speculation over what type of fracture Simmons suffered, with most of the debate centered around whether it was a Zone 1 (Avulsion) or Zone 2 (Jones) fracture, with a Jones fracture typically seen as having a trickier road to recovery and with a higher chance of re-injury. Since the injury was initially announced as a rolled ankle, that led many to believe that the injury was the more straightforward avulsion fracture. However, many avulsion fractures are treated non-surgically, causing some to speculate that Simmons may have experienced a Jones fracture instead. The Sixers have not yet verified which type of fracture Simmons suffered.
Sixers head coach Brett Brown had previously announced that Simmons, if healthy, would have started alongside Jerryd Bayless, Gerald Henderson, Robert Covington, and Joel Embiid when the Sixers kick off preseason play Tuesday against Boston. Brown has not yet announced who will start in Simmons’ place, although Dario Saric, Nerlens Noel, and Jahlil Okafor are the likely candidates.
Despite losing Simmons, the #1 overall pick in June’s NBA draft, the Sixers will still have Joel Embiid (3rd overall in 2014), Dario Saric (12th overall in 2014), and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (24th in 2016) as first round picks set to make their NBA debuts this fall. Embiid missed his first two seasons recovering from a fracture of the navicular bone in his right foot, and Saric played two seasons for Anadolu Efes in Turkey before joining the Sixers this summer.
Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting the fracture is in fact a Jones fracture.