Philadelphia 76ers president Bryan Colangelo told reporters on Sunday that rookie forward Ben Simmons, who will reportedly have surgery on his broken foot, will not be rushed back to the court, via Tom Moore of the Bucks County Courier Times:
#Sixers B Colangelo: 'In no way will we rush him back.' Cites Embiid situation.— Tom Moore (@tmoore76ers) October 2, 2016
Colangelo did not confirm the report that Simmons would have surgery, but said that surgery was "likely," adding that, since Philadelphia is rebuilding, the team would be extra cautious with him. Simmons was selected No. 1 in the NBA Draft in June.
#Sixers B Colangelo: 'We're still at the ground floor as an organization. This might slow things down for Ben and for us.'— Tom Moore (@tmoore76ers) October 2, 2016
ESPN's Jeff Goodman reported on Saturday that Simmons would be out until December or "maybe even January." Colangelo said that there is no timeline yet, as the Sixers are still seeking other opinions. Philadelphia coach Brett Brown mentioned the possibility of remaking Simmons' shot while he sits out.
All of this sounds familiar. Throughout the Sixers' rebuilding process, they have been constantly dealing with injuries to their young players. They drafted Nerlens Noel in 2013 after he tore his ACL and kept him out for an entire season. They selected Joel Embiid the following year despite a foot injury and he is finally set to make his preseason debut as a professional basketball player on Tuesday. Sam Hinkie's front office has been replaced by Colangelo's, but if any organization and fanbase has learned to have patience for this sort of thing, it's this one.
Simmons is 20 years old. This news feels like a huge disappointment, but if he rehabilitates and recovers properly, then it doesn't have to be a big deal. You might have already forgotten that Blake Griffin missed his entire rookie season because of a broken kneecap and C.J. McCollum broke his foot in his first training camp the same way that Simmons did. Philadelphia guard Jerryd Bayless said that the injury "sucks" and "we're all bummed about it," but the reality is that there is nothing the team can do but wait.