The Ben Simmons saga gets a new storyline every day. Last week, the Philadelphia 76ers star guard ended his holdout and returned to the Wells Fargo Center to receive a COVID-19 test. At that point, it was clear Simmons was going to work on taking steps to return to the team.
On Sunday, Simmons participated in his first practice with the Sixers. By Tuesday, he was kicked out for being disengaged and unwilling to participate in a drill after being told to join in multiple times by head coach Doc Rivers. Eventually, Rivers gave up and sent the star guard home early.
Simmons was then suspended for one game due to conduct detrimental for the team. Leading up to Wednesday night's regular-season opener against the New Orleans Pelicans, Simmons' status was up in the air. However, his suspension made it clear his 2021-2022 debut wouldn't come just yet.
The next chance Simmons could appear on the court with his teammates was on Friday as the Sixers host the Brooklyn Nets for their home opener. After everything that transpired on Thursday, though, that won't happen.
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Simmons was scheduled for a private workout at the team's practice facility on Thursday. The star guard reportedly didn't participate as he was treated for back tightness by the team's medical staff.
Although Simmons was eventually cleared for action, he left the facility without undergoing the workout. In addition to missing Thursday's workout, Simmons will also miss Friday's shootaround and matchup, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.
Per Charania's report, Simmons is "currently not mentally ready to play for the team." And it sounds like he isn't nearing a return as Charania notes that he's "not expected to play for an undetermined period of time."
Without Simmons in the mix, the Sixers will continue to start the second-year guard Tyrese Maxey. While Maxey has a lot of room for improvement, the former Kentucky standout had himself a solid season debut on Wednesday as he collected 20 points, seven rebounds, and five assists in 33 minutes of action.
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him for live updates on Twitter: @JGrasso_.