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Sixers' Simmons wears sneakers on court for first time since September

One might consider it a small milestone that 76ers rookie Ben Simmons wore sneakers on a basketball court Tuesday for the first time since he broke his right foot on Sept. 30.

Just don't tell that to coach Brett Brown.

"That is significant," Brown said after practice.

The first overall draft pick walked onto the court in sneakers in the morning and took foul shots. Recently, Simmons had been shooting free throws while wearing a walking boot on his right foot.

"You are looking and I'm like, 'Here we go.' Then he walked over to my office and sat down, looking like he was healthy," Brown said. "There was no boot. There was nothing earlier that he was wheeling [around on]. He walked across and sat in my office and I just watched him shoot free throws.

"You see him in a film session. He's moving."

So far, Simmons has done only spot shooting during his rehabilitation. He has yet to move around on the court.

Simmons had surgery on Oct. 4 in New York to repair an acute Jones fracture in the fifth metatarsal bone of his right foot. At the time of the surgery, Simmons was expected to be sidelined for three months, according to a source. However, there's a thought that the team might sit the franchise player for the entire season.

Brown said Oct. 21 that he expected the point guard to return in January. However, the coach backed off that statement hours later.

"We are going to be extremely careful," Brown said Tuesday. "Everybody needs to hear that, and you know that. We are going to be extremely careful with how his progression into the team goes."

The 6-foot-10 Simmons has been meeting with Brown in the mornings to study the point guard position. He is making the transition after playing point forward at Louisiana State. Simmons took his first test on Tuesday.

Brown wanted to see what Simmons would do as a point guard in certain situations. The written test lasted 30 minutes.

"So we are moving it all along in a point that I think is very thoughtful," Brown said. "I think it's mindful of where he is and how do we grow him."

Simmons still wears the walking boot when he's not on the court.

Noel's status up in air

Reserve center Nerlens Noel is listed as questionable for the home game Wednesday against the Toronto Raptors because of a sprained left ankle. Center Joel Embiid and point guard Sergio Rodriguez are expected to play.

Embiid missed Sunday's victory against the Detroit Pistons because of right elbow inflammation. Rodriguez was sidelined with gastroenteritis. Noel made his first appearance of the season against the Pistons but sat out the second half after the ankle injury.

His ankle feels better than it did Monday, Noel said. The swelling is down and he has more range of motion in the ankle.

Noel went through a portion practice Tuesday. Embiid and Rodriguez participated in the full practice.

However, Noel said he didn't think he would play against the Raptors based that on how much he did in practice Tuesday.

Back to Delaware

Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot was assigned to the Delaware 87ers for the fourth time.

The rookie swingman joined the Sixers' NBA Development League affiliate to play in Tuesday night's game against the Oklahoma City Blue at the University of Delaware.