BOSTON - The Sixers will have 26 games remaining following the All-Star break and they are planning for Ben Simmons to make his debut in one of them.
"We do expect him to play this year," Brett Brown said before the Sixers played the Celtics on Wednesday. "It is our expectation that he will get on a court. It's moving slowly. It's calculated. We're trying to be very careful."
Simmons has been out all season after suffering a fracture in his right foot during training camp. The Sixers have been implementing a multifaceted rehab program of education, health and shot improvement.
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The first overall pick has done five-on-none work with his teammates. Earlier in the week, Brown said Simmons would not begin five-on-five over the break (see story).
The Sixers will resume official practices the middle of next week, at which point they can get a better sense of Simmons' schedule.
"I feel like after the All-Star break, when he's got a chance to begin practicing with us and start playing against actual defensive people and him guarding, then we will better judge on when that time frame is," Brown said. "But I think the path right now is solid."