Ben Simmons To Miss At Least Two Weeks

Sixers star Ben Simmons has been diagnosed with nerve impingement in his lower back and will be re-evaluated in about two weeks, sources tells Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link).

According to Charania (via Twitter), Simmons, who consulted with multiple in-house and external specialists, will undergo daily treatment and rehab. Although Simmons will be re-evaluated in two weeks, the team isn’t expecting him to be ready to return by that point, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter). The two-week mark is more of an initial benchmark date than a target return date, Woj adds (via Twitter).

Simmons aggravated the injury during Saturday’s loss in Milwaukee and sat out on Monday vs. Atlanta. A two-week absence would cost Simmons at least six more games, including road showdowns with the Clippers and Lakers, and it sounds like he’ll remain on the shelf for even longer than that.

With Simmons out, the Sixers figure to lean more heavily on Alec Burks, Josh Richardson, and Shake Milton when it comes to ball-handling duties. Backup point guard Raul Neto should also move up on the depth chart, though he didn’t play at all on Monday. Philadelphia could also explore the buyout market for another ball-handler, but the club would have to waive a player to make room on its 15-man roster.

The 76ers are currently in the midst of a race for home-court advantage in the first round of the postseason. At 36-22, they hold the No. 5 seed in the East, just a half-game back of the 36-21 Heat.

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