Ben Simmons out at least two weeks with back injury
The Philadelphia 76ers did not get great news on the status of guard Ben Simmons.
According to multiple reports, Simmons will be re-evaluated in two weeks after being diagnosed with a nerve impingement in his lower back. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski added, however, that Simmons is not expected to be ready to return at that point.
There's no timeline for a Simmons return, but an evaluation in two weeks is more of an initial benchmark date than an expectation of a quick return to the lineup. https://t.co/HqCsag1jvx
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 25, 2020
This is a significant blow for the Sixers, who are stuck in the middle of the Eastern Conference playoff race. Simmons is averaging 16.7 points, 8.2 assists, and 7.8 rebounds per game, and is a huge part of the Philadelphia offense despite his limitations as a jump shooter.
If it’s true that Simmons will likely miss more than two weeks, it could be that he doesn’t play until mid- to late-March. That would very much hurt Philadelphia’s hopes of getting a better playoff seed, but as long as they can get Simmons back before the postseason, it’s not entirely the end of the world. They can’t really thrive without him, though, even despite rumors of a rift with his All-Star teammate Joel Embiid.