The 2019-2020 NBA season has been tough for Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Ben Simmons. After missing just a handful of games over the last two seasons, Simmons has dealt with his fair share of injuries throughout his third year, with some being more significant than others.
At the start of the year, Simmons missed a small chunk of time with a shoulder injury. While he returned from that setback quickly, the third-year star ended up suffering a back injury later on, which likely would've ended his regular season had the NBA not gone on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic back in March.
He was fortunate to make it back in time for the NBA's restart down in the Orlando bubble, but it wouldn't be long before he was forced to miss time again. On Wednesday, during the Sixers' third seeding game against the Wizards, Simmons left the game with an apparent knee injury.
After getting it all checked out, it turns out he's dealing with a subluxation in his left kneecap. From the jump, the Sixers ruled Simmons out on Friday night against the Orlando Magic. Now, the team is trying to figure out how to go about Simmons' treatment and how long his timeline for a return could be. So far, there are no concrete updates -- but a few experts are discussing what could happen with Simmons moving forward. Let's take a look at what they're saying...
Brett Brown's Update
I'm sure you'd like to hear an update from Brett Brown first. Unfortunately, there really is no update. While the Sixers' head coach didn't want to get into specifics regarding what's being said behind the scenes, Brett Brown made it clear before Friday's game against the Magic that there really is no update for Simmons at the moment. So right now, all we're left with is speculation from the experts.
David Chao, MD
Until one can assess the severity, examine the player, perform full imaging studies and evaluate overnight swelling a full prognosis won’t be known. The official day to day status is not to be believed. Simmons will be out indefinitely and the over/under is likely several weeks.
The “good” news is the injury did not involve much trauma and looked like a fairly routine play. He left the stadium without even a wrap or brace on his knee indicating low worry for swelling or structural damage (which was confirmed by MRI). Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes famously dislocated his patella (completely out of place) and returned in just under four weeks and this is worse than subluxation (transient shift).
The bad news is any kneecap instability issue is tricky and does not carry magic/quick easy fixes. The fact there was no trauma could lead one to worry if there is an intrinsic laxity (looseness) to the patella and could portend easier recurrence. The way he was limping as he left the stadium indicates this was not a temporary scare. Basketball is high stress for the kneecap joint and even small issues can impact players more than other sports.
Brian Schulz, MD
“Usually with these, outside of having a loose body in your knee, normally we treat these even in professional athletes most of the time with conservative treatment. My best guess is it’s going to at least be a couple of weeks but I don’t know what the severity was. Basketball is a cutting sport. The biggest fear is you push him out too soon and he doesn’t have the right mechanics or right strength and you risk him either hurting this again or hurting something else."
via The Athletic
Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_