76ers GM Elton Brand 'Optimistic' About Ben Simmons' Recovery

Justin Grasso

If the Philadelphia 76ers continued their season this week, would the team's two-time All-Star point guard make it out onto the court after suffering a lower-back impingement? We can't say for sure if Ben Simmons is healthy enough to engage in an actual game.

But Sixers' General Manager Elton Brand offered a positive outlook on Simmons' injury status on Tuesday. For the first time since the NBA shut down on March 11th, Brand addressed the media to discuss a wide range of topics.

And before fielding any questions from anybody, Brand took it upon himself to talk about the status of the team's starting point guard. A couple of weeks ago, an ESPN report mentioned that Simmons is doing well, and the 76ers expect him to be back by the time the NBA returns to action.

During Tuesday's conference call, Elton Brand confirmed as much as he went into details regarding Simmons' current status. "Ben Simmons is doing really really well," Brand said. "I give Ben and our medical staff a ton of credit for their hard work throughout his recovery."

"I give Ben so much credit for working so hard through this unknown time," Brand continued. "Fortunately, we've been able to arrange for him to get treatment and the rehab he needs during this hiatus. I'm very optimistic he'll be ready to play if and when we're given that green light to resume."

The good news is that even if Simmons wouldn't be cleared for action right now, the NBA still has a long way to go before the 2019-2020 season resumes. On Monday, there's been some speculation about a potential late June, early July restart. At that point, Simmons would likely be cleared for action and could begin practicing with the Sixers once again.

Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_