Per Shams Charania, 76ers All-Star Ben Simmons has suffered a nerve impingement in his lower back, and will be re-evaluated in two weeks, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be back in two weeks.
No one really knows how the injury was suffered. The team made it clear that they believed the injury to have occurred while he was going up for a rebound in a practice prior to their primetime game against the Nets.
However, fans and media can’t help but look at the play in the All-Star game where he slipped coming down from a dunk.
We all want you to be great.
We’d much rather you be healthy though.pic.twitter.com/pDB8uaitjt
— Sixers Nation (37-24) (@PHLSixersNation) February 17, 2020
If you recall, the Sixers have had one of their two superstars miss the second part of the season due to an All-Star Break injury before. It makes sense as to why the team would want to blame it on a practice-related injury rather than an exhibition game injury.
Independent of each other, back issues and nerve issues are extremely unpredictable and developing a time frame for when the player will return is nearly impossible. Simmons’ game relies upon him having the ability to move in a way most 6’10” people cannot, so a back issue will severely limit his effectiveness. This is why the 76ers must be careful with their star player and take their time bringing him back.
Given the team’s medical staff’s history, “re-evaluated in two weeks” isn’t a pleasant sight to see for fans.
This brings back memories of Andrew Bynum, Markelle Fultz, Zhaire Smith, and Joel Embiid.
I’m sorry to make you cringe, but you see my point.
Jon Marks on 94.1 WIP brought up former Mets third baseman and All-Star David Wright when talking about Simmons’ injury. Fans may recall Wright mashing Phillies pitching and being in MVP consideration every year. Wright ended his career with multiple stints on the injured list and was never fully able to come back from a similar nerve issue that Simmons is currently experiencing.
I’m not saying that Simmons will turn out like David Wright – that is the worst-case scenario. It’s likely Ben Simmons will recover from the injury, but also still possible this is something he will be dealing with for his entire career. As I mentioned, it isn’t uncommon to see back injuries flare back up in an athlete’s life.
It’s unlikely we see Simmons back in the Sixers starting lineup prior to the playoffs, and I’d be shocked if we see him back at all this season.
If the Sixers want to rewrite their medical staff’s history, they’ll play this smart. Ben Simmons is a generational talent and has the ability to go down as one of the league’s all-time greats, so it is crucial they play this right.
Featured Image: @BR_NBA