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The Sixers continue on their recent stretch without the services of Ben Simmons. He missed his fourth straight game on Saturday due to a non-Covid illness. 

During his pregame media availability, 76ers head coach Doc Rivers would talk about the situation revolving around the 24-year-old All-Star. He would say he spoke to Simmons on Friday night and Saturday morning for updates on his health. 

"He's feeling better, not great but a lot better. The first thing he says is I feel stronger, and that's a good thing. That's all you ask for," said Rivers. 

While Rivers would give a positive update on Simmons, there is still no timetable for when he will make his return. 

"I've always learned they'll tell us, the trainers will tell us, and then the player will tell us. I have never gotten involved in that stuff. I don't think it's a good place for a coach," he said.  

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There is no denying that this team has missed Simmons in his absence. Between what he brings on the defensive end and his facilitation, it has not been easy to fill the hole he leaves. 

Every game Simmons misses puts the Sixers in a tougher position as the regular season comes to a close. After their recent losing streak, they have now fallen out of the top spot in the Eastern Conference. 

Players and coaches have said that heading into the playoffs healthy is the primary goal, not finishing in the top seed. With the long view in mind, it is unlikely the team attempts to rush Simmons back. 

While Rivers still couldn't give a potential return for Simmons, this should still be viewed as a positive update. If Simmons says he feels his strength coming back, his return to action should not be far behind. 

Kevin McCormick covers the Philadelphia 76ers for South Jersey's 97.3 ESPN and Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @KevinMcCNBA