There’s been a lot of optimism surrounding the Philadelphia 76ers heading into the 2016-17 season, but much of that’s now been zapped with the news that No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons has a broken right foot.
Simmons rolled his right ankle during Friday’s scrimmage, and he was taken for precautionary tests. Unfortunately, those tests showed a fracture of the fifth metatarsal bone of his right foot. Simmons and the team are considering treatment options, and an update on how long he’ll be out will be provided at a later time.
This is obviously an awful blow to the Sixers, who know all too well about troublesome foot injuries to top picks. 2014 No. 3 pick Joel Embiid has missed the first two seasons of his career due to multiple foot surgeries, and the big man is just now getting set to make his NBA debut. And just as that happens, Simmons suffers this injury that’ll likely keep him out an extended period of time, although the exact amount of time missed for foot fractures varies depending on the location and severity of the fracture.
Simmons was expected to play a major role right off the bat for the rebuilding Sixers, including the role of point forward that he flourished at while starring in his one season at LSU. That’ll now have to wait as he recovers from this injury, which means more ball-handling opportunities for players like Jerryd Bayless, Sergio Rodriguez and others (Dario Saric?).
An interesting thing to note about this injury is that Simmons recently said he gained 33 pounds this offseason, and there’s some speculation that large weight gain could’ve played a factor in this injury:
Ben Simmons puts on 33 lbs, now a broken foot. Related? For sure. Athletes can't add that much weight that quickly w/out impacting movement.
— Tim S. Grover (@ATTACKATHLETICS) September 30, 2016
Again, this is just speculation, but it makes some sense.