Sixers Give January Timeline For Ben Simmons Return

Sixers head coach Brett Brown says injured rookie Ben Simmons could return to action in January.

Sixers rookie Ben Simmons has a fractured right foot | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Sixers head coach Brett Brown says injured rookie Ben Simmons could return in January. | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a few weeks since the Sixers announced Ben Simmons had surgery to repair an acute Jones fracture in his right foot suffered during the last scrimmage of training camp, but up to this point the Sixers have been hesitant to place a timeline on the rookie forward’s return.

The lack of clear direction has led to some speculation over how long Simmons would be out, with some reports around the league speculating that Simmons’ representation could look to keep him out for the entire season.

As the 76ers are in Miami to wrap up their preseason schedule tonight against the Heat, head coach Brett Brown provided the first bit of reassurance that Simmons would return to the lineup this year.

“It’s not doom and gloom,” Brett Brown told Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Ben (Simmons) is coming back in January. We are still trying to find information on Jerryd [Bayless]. Jahlil [Okafor] is still trying to touch the court in his first preseason game.”

Simmons had surgery to repair the fracture on October 4th. January 3rd would be 13 weeks post-surgery, which is close to the 10-12 week timeline orthopedic surgeon Daniel Cuttica explained as a typical recovery timeline for Simmons’ injury.

In addition to Simmons’ injury, the 76ers have been without Jerryd Bayless (left wrist), Nerlens Noel (groin) and Jahlil Okafor (right knee) for most of preseason.

The 76ers take on the Miami Heat today for their final preseason contest. The game is not televised in the Philadelphia area, but NBA League Pass is carrying the Miami feed for those outside of the Philadelphia market. The Sixers will begin the regular season next Wednesday at home against Russell Westbrook at the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Update: 6:57 PM

Brett Brown backed off his comments later tonight, describing them as premature.

The Sixers also provided injury updates on Nerlens Noel and Jerryd Bayless. Noel will require a “minor surgery” to repair an inflamed plica, and Bayless will not require surgery for his sore left wrist, and will be re-evaluated in two weeks. They also noted that Simmons had his two-week post-up examination.

Jerryd Bayless
Bayless has participated in non-contact, individualized workouts since training camp due to a left wrist injury, for which he has been receiving treatment. This was  ultimately identified as a ligament injury in his left wrist.

Bayless has worked closely with the team and medical staff to gather additional information on the injury and assess all treatment options. After consulting with multiple wrist and hand specialists, it has been determined that Bayless will pursue a non-surgical option to address the injury.

Bayless will continue his rehabilitation for the next two weeks under the day-to-day guidance of Sixers Director of Physiotherapy and Clinical Diagnostics Scott Epsley, and will be re-evaluated at that time.

Nerlens Noel
During the normal course of evaluation and treatment for his left adductor strain, which was identified on October 6, Noel reported localized soreness in his left knee. After consulting with multiple specialists, the source of the soreness was identified as inflamed plica. Noel has elected to address the injury via a minor surgical procedure in the coming days.

Ben Simmons
Simmons, who underwent successful surgery to repair an acute Jones fracture of the fifth metatarsal of his right foot on October 4, recently had his two-week, post-operative exam. Simmons had his sutures removed and is continuing to progress with his day-to-day rehabilitation and recovery under the guidance of Sixers Director of Performance Research & Development Dr. David T. Martin, and Sixers Director of Physiotherapy and Clinical Diagnostics Scott Epsley. press release.

Derek Bodner covers the 76ers for Philadelphia magazine’s Sixers Post. Follow @DerekBodnerNBA on Twitter.