Ben Simmons, who suffered a Jones fracture in his right foot on Sept. 30, might not yet be fully healed.
According to Keith Pompey of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Simmons has an appointment at the Hospital of Special Surgery in New York as early as next Monday that will show whether he's healed.
Pompey reports that Simmons' previous foot scan on Jan. 23 showed that an inside portion of the bone was not fully healed.
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That's not aligned with the Sixers' update from Jan. 24 that Simmons' scan came up clean and he was progressing on schedule.
A Jones fracture is a break of the fifth metatarsal, the outermost bone in the foot. Think about the outside of your right foot, close to the pinkie toe. When one is recovering from a Jones fracture, he/she is typically advised not to wiggle the foot or make a circular motion with it.
Oftentimes a screw is inserted into the foot to fuse the broken bone back to where it should be. On rare occasions, the screw can become dislodged and cause problems. It happened to Julio Jones in 2013.
Initially, the thought was Simmons would be ready to go in January or February. That's obviously not the case as he's yet to be cleared for 5-on-5 practices.
Brett Brown said Wednesday that the Sixers "do expect [Simmons] to play this year."
"It is our expectation that he will get on a court," Brown said. "It's moving slowly. It's calculated. We're trying to be very careful."
There is real value to playing Simmons this season. The Sixers will want to see what he can do within their system. They'll want to see how he fits with Joel Embiid, with Dario Saric, with the other guards before this year's draft and free agency.
But the most important thing, obviously, is not rushing Simmons back out there. Full disclosure, I suffered a Jones fracture in my left foot on Nov. 28. Today, Feb. 16, was my first day back in a sneaker. Obviously, I'm not a world-class athlete, but I also didn't have as much rehab at my disposal as Simmons.
The point is, the healing process with a Jones fracture is very slow. And running full-speed up and down an NBA court is much different than simply being able to walk normally again after rehab. And the non-use of the foot - you're non-weight-bearing for about three months - leads to other things, like the decrease of muscle in the calf and quad of the affected leg.
Per Pompey, Simmons and the Sixers will know more about his fate next week.