Sixers injury update: Ben Simmons (left knee), one of eight Sixers excluded against the Hawks


Eight Sixers were excluded for the team’s game on Monday against the Hawks, including Ben Simmons.

Simmons did not travel with the team to Atlanta and will receive treatment on his knee, per Athlete’s Shams Charania. It will be assessed on a day-to-day basis, Charania reports.

Joel Embiid (tightness of the back) has been improved in probable. Mike Scott is also likely. He was technically active on Saturday, but head coach Doc Rivers said he didn’t think Scott was fit to play as the 32-year-old missed the previous four games with a bruised left knee.

As for Simmons, Rivers said his left knee injury occurred in Brooklyn on Thursday.

“It has nothing to do with the fact that they just aren’t playing,” Rivers said. “Ben in the Brooklyn game had some stiffness in his knee. So we almost probably knew after the game that he wasn’t going to play tonight. And then Joel started to complain about his back – started yesterday. And we didn’t know if he was playing or not, but honestly, with the minutes we would have to ask him, it would be foolish to play him tonight.

In August, Simmons underwent surgery to remove a loose body from his left knee, missing the remainder of the 2019-20 season. He said during training camp that his health was “100%” and he felt stronger and more explosive. In the Sixers’ first nine games, he averaged 13.4 points, 8.8 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.2 blocks.

Seth Curry, Tobias Harris, Shake Milton, Matisse Thybulle and Vincent Poirier are absent due to NBA health and safety protocols. The Sixers have learned that Curry tested positive for COVID-19 in their Thursday game against the Nets. It is currently unclear how long the other four players will be sidelined.

“They were, I think, at a table (with Curry),” Rivers said. “It wasn’t, like, close contact, so maybe that will shorten their days (outside).” I do not know that; I don’t know any of this.

Additionally, Furkan Korkmaz and Terrance Ferguson are still missing due to left adductor strain and personal reasons, respectively.

Following Monday’s game in Atlanta, a mini-series at the Wells Fargo Center Tuesday and Thursday against the Heat is next on the 7-3 Sixers schedule. NBA teams must have at least eight active players to play.

In particular, the Heat are among the other teams dealing with the impact of COVID-19. Miami’s scheduled Sunday game against Boston has been postponed because the Heat failed to reach the eight-player minimum due to the continued search for contact with the team, the NBA said. It remains to be seen how the Heat’s situation could affect the Sixers.

Embiid doesn’t seem happy with the way the league is handling things.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports that the NBA has no plans to suspend the season despite the recent increase in absences linked to COVID-19.

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