Less than an hour before Saturday’s game at the Wells Fargo Center against the Sacramento Kings, the 76ers announced that Ben Simmons was out because of left knee soreness.

Simmons participated in the morning shootaround and talked to the media afterward. According to the team, he experienced soreness after the shootaround.

That left the Sixers three starters short against the Kings.

The team is already shorthanded with Joel Embiid missing his fourth consecutive game with a bone bruise in his left knee and Seth Curry sidelined with a left ankle sprain.

This will be the eighth game that Simmons has missed.

He was sidelined in consecutive games on Jan. 9 and Jan. 11 against Denver and Atlanta with left knee soreness. He was also out Feb. 4 vs. Portland because of left calf tightness.

Simmons missed games Feb. 17 against Houston and Feb. 19 vs. Chicago because of illness not related to COVID.

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Right after the All-Star break, he missed two games due to health and safety protocols after coming in contact with a barber who tested positive for COVID-19.

A third-time All-Star this season, Simmons is averaging 15.9 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 7.8 assists.

In addition to usual starters Tobias Harris and Danny Green, the other starters were center Tony Bradley and guards Matisse Thybulle and Shake Milton.

It was the sixth start this season for Bradley, the fifth for Thybulle, and the second for Milton, the team’s usual sixth man.

This was coach Doc Rivers’ 17th different starting lineup this season.