DENVER -- The 76ers will be without Ben Simmons for at least one game.
An evaluation on Thursday confirmed a Grade 1 AC joint sprain in the point guard’s right shoulder, according to a league source. The All-Star point guard will miss Friday night’s game against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. Simmons will be re-evaluated this weekend before Sunday’s game against the Charlotte Hornets at the Wells Fargo Center.
But Yahoo Sports reported that Simmons will likely miss the Hornets game and Tuesday’s home matchup against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The news could have been worse for the Sixers.
Along with ligaments, the acromioclavicular (AC) joint connects the collarbone and the shoulder blade. A Grade 1 sprain is a simple sprain to the joint with minor damage to the ligament, according to SportsInjuryClinic. There is no separation of bones. A Grade 2 sprain involves a ruptured AC ligament. A Grade 3 sprain involves ruptures to ligaments and often results in displacement of the clavicle.
Simmons was hurt in the first quarter of Wednesday’s 106-104 loss to the Utah Jazz at the Vivint Smart Home Security Arena. He received an entry pass in the high post and spun right to make a move. His right shoulder banged into the chest of Utah’s Royce O’Neale.
After the contact, Simmons immediately held his shoulder.
He played on before being subbed out of the game with 3:31 left in the quarter. Simmons wore what looked like a heating pad on his shoulder while on the bench. He also appeared to have a tough time raising his arm above his shoulder.
Simmons checked back into the game in the second quarter but took himself out during a break in the action at the 5:20 mark and walked straight to the locker room. He finished with two points on 1-for-2 shooting to go with two assists and a rebound in 10 minutes of action.
Simmons is averaging 13.1 points, 6.9 assists, and 5.4 rebounds.
His absence could provide more playing time for reserve point guard Raul Neto. Shooting guard Josh Richardson could assume Simmons’ role as the starting point guard. Richardson started at the position in the final two preseason games when Simmons was sidelined with lower-back tightness.
The Sixers (5-2) will look to snap a two-game skid against the Nuggets (5-2), winners of two straight.