Philadelphia 76ers starting point guard Ben Simmons hasn't seen the court in a week at this point. After helping the Sixers defeat the Los Angeles Clippers last Friday, Simmons came out of the game feeling fine as he didn't suffer any setbacks.
However, after having two days off, Simmons was feeling under the weather going into Monday night's game against the Golden State Warriors. On Monday afternoon, the Sixers listed Simmons as questionable, as he was dealing with a non-COVID illness.
As the matchup against the Warriors inched closer, Simmons was ruled out by the 76ers. Following the loss to Golden State, Rivers offered a not-so-detailed update on the three-time All-Star's status moving forward.
"I have no idea [how long he'll be out]," Rivers said on Monday. "I've used this before, but I am not a real doctor. I didn't do the exam, I don't know. Whenever someone has a cold, everyone thinks COVID and it wasn't COVID. I expect him back [soon], but I can't guarantee that. I just don't know how bad it is."
The 76ers didn't rule Simmons out for Wednesday's matchup against the Phoenix Suns right away, but the veteran guard ended up being listed as inactive shortly before the game tipped off. Considering the Sixers had to travel to Milwaukee on the same night, it was unclear if Simmons was going to make the trip or not.
"I think [Ben will make the trip], but I don't know," Rivers admitted following Wednesday's game against the Suns. "I mean, he's not feeling great. With fluid and all that, I don't know -- I don't know if I want him on the plane. We'll wait and see, and we'll know in a few. If he's feeling as bad as what we think, I think rest is more important, I'll tell you that."
As expected, Simmons was questionable for the third straight game against the Bucks on Thursday night. During his pregame press conference, Doc Rivers didn't hesitate to rule Simmons out for the night, though. And although Rivers refused to reveal whether Simmons made the trip to Milwaukee or not, Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Simmons stayed back and didn't join the team on the trip.
So, what does that mean moving forward? Just because Simmons didn't travel with the team to Milwaukee on Wednesday, doesn't mean he's automatically out for Saturday's rematch. If the veteran point guard is feeling well enough to play, the Sixers will make sure he gets reunites with his team on Saturday. What're the chances of that happening, though?
"I don't know [if Ben will be back or not]," Rivers admitted on Thursday night in regards to his status for Saturday. "We'll see. Right now, I would say 50/50, best. I'm an optimist, but I don't know. Clearly, it's more serious [than we thought]. Not serious where he's going to miss a lot of games, but it's more serious than we hoped for because he's still missing games. We just need him to get well."
The Sixers and the Bucks will reconvene at the Fiserv Forum on Saturday afternoon for their third and final matchup against each other during the regular season. Whether Ben Simmons will play or not remains the most significant question for now.