The 76ers should strongly consider ending Ben Simmons' season before it officially begins.
It's not as if he's going to play in a lot of games by an NBA standard, anyway.
A source confirmed Saturday that the first overall pick will have surgery this week to repair an acute fracture of the fifth metatarsal bone of his right foot and is expected to be sidelined for three months. ESPN first reported the news.
The franchise has too much invested in Simmons to even consider having him play in a season in which they will be lucky to win 25 games. The 6-foot-10, 250-pound point forward is a franchise player with the potential to be a megastar like LeBron James, Steph Curry, and Kevin Durant. So the Sixers, now more than ever, need to do everything possible to make sure that remains attainable.
An X-ray and MRI revealed the acute fracture in his right foot on Friday. A source said Simmons has a Zone 2 fracture or what is commonly called a Jones fracture. The injury occurred when he came down on Shawn Long's foot during a training camp scrimmage at Stockton University.
The typical recovery time for a Jones fracture is six to eight weeks. Teams usually add two to three weeks for recovery time. He'll be out around three months just to make sure an eager-to-play Simmons won't be rushed back.
The Sixers declined comment Saturday.
On Friday, they released only a statement that read in part: "Further medical evaluation and treatment options are being considered at this time and additional updates will be provided when appropriate."
With a Jones fracture, there's a higher probability of refracturing the bone compared with a Zone 1 fracture, also known as an avulsion or "chip" fracture.
Cameron Payne may be a prime example of someone rushing back too fast from a Jones fracture.
The Oklahoma City guard suffered an acute fracture in the fifth metatarsal in his right foot Tuesday. The fracture is not related to the stress fracture Payne suffered during the season. But it makes you wonder whether he came back too soon from surgery July 25 to repair a Jones fracture.
Kevin Durant is another example. A Jones fracture was diagnosed in his right foot before the start of the 2014-15 season. He made his debut on Dec. 2, 2014 after missing the first 16 games of the season.
The injury led him to have more injuries that season and ultimately cut his year short.
He missed time later in December after injuring his ankle. Then he sprained his left big toe in January. On Feb. 22, he was sidelined after having a minor procedure to help reduce pain and discomfort in his surgically repaired foot. On March 27, he was ruled out the rest of the season after deciding to undergo foot surgery.
The overly cautious Sixers have a history of keeping players sidelined long after their expected return date. So don't rule out Simmons' missing at least half a season. They've done it before with Nerlens Noel and Joel Embiid (twice).
If there's any concern, Simmons would be better off shutting down until the 2017-18 season.
He can't afford to reinjure his foot.
Simmons' focus should be only on guaranteeing that he's 100 percent once he returns. The 20-year-old is a special player, one who has a chance to become a perennial all-star.
You don't do that by rushing back.
Right now, it doesn't matter if he takes a one-year hiatus. What matters is his health.
Based on the newfound excitement in the city, he already has put his imprint on the Sixers. This is already his team.
Simmons needs to take his time to make sure that he's totally healed - even if he has to sit out this season.