The Philadelphia 76ers decided to take two days off following their six-game road trip this week. After Wednesday's bout with the Golden State Warriors, the Sixers made it back home on Thursday for the holiday.
And while they didn't have a game slated for Friday, the team decided not to practice as well. Instead, the Sixers held a private shootaround session at the Wells Fargo Center just hours before their Saturday night matchup against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The Sixers anticipated a few significant returns on Saturday. Tobias Harris was set to come back on after missing the last couple of games due to hip soreness. Also, Sixers big man Joel Embiid was gearing up for his anticipated return after he missed the previous nine games.
And although Ben Simmons was expectedly ruled out for Saturday's game early as he continues to miss time due to personal reasons, the three-time All-Star was present at the Wells Fargo Center hours before the game.
Following the Sixers' team-wide shootaround session, Simmons participated in a solo workout at the arena. While many believed there was a chance the three-time All-Star would appear on the Sixers' bench during their Timberwolves matchup since he was already in the building, Simmons seemingly did not stick around.
Saturday marked the 20th straight game Simmons remained away from the team as they went to work. The last time the three-time All-Star appeared in a Sixers' uniform was during Philly's Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in the playoffs last year.
While the Sixers continue to hope that Simmons returns to the floor at some point this season, all they've got at the moment is solo workout sessions to check in on.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.