KISSIMMEE, Fla. – This one “stings.”
The 76ers have dealt with a seemingly endless amount of injuries to marquee players during Brett Brown’s seven seasons as head coach.
Typically, Brown tries to give the ‘This an opportunity for someone to step up’ or “I’m numb to injuries” speeches as a way to appear positive.
He didn’t initially follow that script Thursday, shortly after the team announced that Ben Simmons is sidelined indefinitely with a temporary partial dislocation of his left kneecap.
“This one stings, for sure,” Brown said before practice.
But perhaps realizing his openness, Brown later added, “I feel numb to it. I feel conditioned that we’ve gone through this type of thing before.”
Simmons suffered the injury in Wednesday against the Washington Wizards. He is considering treatment options.
Typically, this injury requires rehabilitation and rest.
“It would be a worse diagnosis if he had a dislocated patella,” said Brian Sennett, the chief of sports medicine at Penn Medicine and team physician for Penn athletics.
“The fact that it comes out saying he had a subluxation of his patella means it is not as bad of an injury and hopefully he would be able to get back sooner.”
This injury could keep a player out one to two weeks under conservative estimates. That timeline allows the symptoms to subside and the player to regain strength and stability before returning to jumping and running.
But Simmons would have to make sure he’s not returning too soon, because of the risk of suffering the same injury or worse.
Brown was asked if he’s operating under the belief that he will not have Simmons for the rest of the season or anytime soon.
“I’m not, “Brown said. “Some of the information is fluid, it’s still moving. In relation to saying any type of deadline, timeline, playoff, or whatever, I’m not in a position to offer anything. Not because I want to. Stuff is still being evaluated.
“What I do know is it’s boring, but, we play Orlando [Friday] and we don’t have him. That’s all I kind of know at the moment.”
The coach added that he could have more information Friday. But the team said a timetable for a return was unclear.
What if one of the treatment options involves leaving the NBA bubble to consult with another physician?
If a player is out seven days or fewer, he must quarantine for four days upon his return to the bubble if he has a negative test each day he’s outside the bubble. If a player is gone longer, he must still quarantine for four days if he has a negative test for the final seven days he was gone. If the player doesn’t have the required testing, must quarantine for 10 days.
Regardless of what or where he goes, it definitely won’t be what Simmons expected to happen at the NBA restart.
On Wednesday, he grabbed an offensive rebound with 5 minutes, 53 seconds left in the third quarter. He dribbled to the corner before throwing an outlet pass to Al Horford. He then flexed his left leg, appeared to grab the back of his knee, and walked off the court. He gingerly walked back to the locker room, followed by general manager Elton Brand.
“I don’t even remember it happening,” Shake Milton said. “I saw him walking off to the sideline. It is tough for us. ... Hopefully he is is able to heal super-fast and get back on the court because we definitely need him.”
This was Simmons’ third game back after missing the final eight before the NBA shutdown in March with a pinched nerve in his lower back. He has been moved to power forward while Milton became the starting point guard.