76ers' Ben Simmons is Feeling Better Than Ever Heading Into Orlando
Before the NBA season was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Philadelphia 76ers All-Star guard Ben Simmons was sidelined with a lower-back impingement. On the night of the NBA's postponement, Simmons was issued an additional three-week timetable of rehab without a return in sight.
At that point, it seemed Simmons' regular season was likely over. And as for playoffs, well, it's unclear if Simmons would've been available to compete by then as well. While the NBA's suspension was highly unfortunate, the Sixers saw it as a silver lining since Simmons was getting an additional few months to recover from his injury.
On July 9th, Simmons and the Sixers will travel to Orlando so they can ramp up the second training camp of the season. A few weeks ago, Sixers coach Brett Brown was talking about potentially "inching" Simmons back to action. On Wednesday, however, Brown reversed his statement.
"The fact is, he's doing way better than [my initial] phrase would indicate," Brown said on Wednesday. "He's put in a tremendous amount of work for me to be able to confidently say that." Over the last couple of weeks, everybody has seen pictures and videos of Simmons' progress during the suspension. And on Thursday, the Sixers' All-Star confidently stated he's in the best shape he can be this season.
"I'm feeling better than I was when I started the season," Simmons proclaimed. "I've been working to be prepared for whatever happens and wherever we go. I'm feeling great. I have been rehabbing this whole time. I'm feeling good, and I put on a lot more muscle. I'm just ready to go."
Ben Simmons and the Sixers are set to arrive in Orlando on July 9th and are on schedule to resume their 2019-2020 season on August 1st against the Indiana Pacers.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_