The Sixers are wary of bringing Ben Simmons back prematurely from his Jones fracture, as coach Brett Brown‘s latest update indicates. According to Bob Cooney of the Daily News, Simmons won’t be participating in simulated 5-on-5 competition throughout the All-Star break. Simmons is progressing, Brown told Cooney, albeit at the team’s “slow” pace.
Cooney’s report throws cold water on previous rumors that Simmons would be able to play after the All-Star break. Simmons was able to participate in drills running at “80%” in early January, according to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, though the team never issued a formal timeline of the No. 1 pick’s recovery.
Considering the Sixers are out of the playoff picture – trailing the Eastern Conference’s eight-seed by 5.5 games – it’s worth wondering when or if the team will shut down Simmons for the season.