Sixers' Ben Simmons Likely to Return vs. Heat on Tuesday

Ben Simmons could return to the court on Tuesday.
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The Philadelphia 76ers are slowly getting some reinforcements back into the lineup after being hit hard by COVID-19 safety and protocol setbacks on Saturday. As Sixers guard Seth Curry tested positive for COVID-19 last Thursday, seven Sixers found themselves listed on the injury report as questionable due to contact tracing.

As three players were then cleared, the 76ers followed up by ruling Joel Embiid out with back stiffness and Ben Simmons out with knee stiffness and swelling ahead of Saturday's game against the Denver Nuggets.

Embiid returned to the lineup for the 76ers on Monday night against the Atlanta Hawks. Simmons, on the other hand, remained out. According to reports, Simmons didn't travel to Atlanta with the Sixers on Sunday. Instead, he stayed back in Philly to continue receiving treatment for his knee, which started bothering him in Brooklyn last Thursday.

"Ben, in the Brooklyn game, had some knee stiffness," Sixers head coach Doc Rivers said over the weekend. "We almost probably knew after the game [on Thursday] that he wouldn't play [on Saturday]."

When asked about Simmons' setback once again on Monday, Rivers offered a positive update. "I don't think [it's anything long-term]," Rivers explained in regards to Simmons' injury. "But again, we thought it might be one game, and it's already two. You know, so we're hoping he will play tomorrow night, but I can't guarantee any of that."

While Simmons isn't guaranteed to take the court for Philly on Tuesday night against the Heat, he is listed as probable on the injury report, which means he has a 75-percent chance of playing in Tuesday's game against the shorthanded Heat.

Justin Grasso covers the Philadelphia 76ers for Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @JGrasso_