MILWAUKEE -- Doc Rivers said Saturday that Ben Simmons, suffering from flu-like symptoms, is feeling better. However, the 76ers coach added he doesn’t know when his All-Star point guard will return.
Simmons’ illness is not COVID related.
“I haven’t asked,” Rivers said before the matchup with Milwaukee Bucks. “I talked to Ben [Friday] and this morning. All I ask is how he’s feeling. I didn’t ask like, ‘Hey, how are you feeling? You know, when are you coming back?’ I don’t typically do that.
“I’ve always learned they’ll tell us, the trainers will tell us. And then the players will tell us.”
In regards to how Simmons is feeling, Rivers said “not great, but a lot better.” He said the first thing Simmons told him is he feels stronger.
Rivers mentioned on Wednesday that Simmons had the flu when asked if Simmons would fly with the team to its two games against the Bucks. On Saturday, the coach was asked specifically if Simmons has the flu.
“I don’t know what it is,” Rivers said. “I’m assuming it’s the flu. Yeah, we’ve done other blood work, and that’s what it is. But it’s knocked it out, and it is what it is.”
Simmons has been sidelined for four games.
Reed in NBA Health and Safety protocols
Paul Reed was not with the Sixers for Saturday’s game against the Bucks because he’s in the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocol.
Asked if the power forward had an inconclusive test, Rivers said, ‘We don’t give any details with that kind of stuff. So just health and safety protocols.”
Back on Jan. 7, Seth Curry tested positive for COVID-19 and was sidelined 13 days due to being in the health and safety protocol and protocol reconditioning.
Simmons and Joel Embiid both had to quarantine prior to the All-Star break after being exposed to a barber, who tested positive for coronavirus.
Rivers said there’s no concern that Reed being in the protocol could lead to other players being exposed to COVID.
“If it was [contagious] then the team would be in protocol,” he said. “So the NBA always does the contact tracing and all that stuff, and we’re good there.”