Ben Simmons set to practice with Sixers
Ben Simmons is set to return to the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday.
Absent from the morning shootaround with the 76ers at Detroit on Friday, Simmons was ruled out of the preseason contest with the Pistons along with Joel Embiid.
But head coach Doc Rivers said Friday night that Simmons would rejoin the team in a practice setting Sunday for the first time this season.
Simmons’ return to team workouts was restricted by COVID-19 protocols, according to Rivers, who also said Thursday he expected the All-Star point guard to be back with the team “soon.”
Simmons reported to the 76ers on Monday, an unannounced arrival that took management and Rivers by surprise.
The regular season begins Wednesday at New Orleans for the 76ers.
Following last season’s Eastern Conference semifinals playoff loss to the Atlanta Hawks, Rivers and All-Star teammate Joel Embiid were less than complimentary of Simmons for passing up what appeared to be a sure two points in the paint.
The comments kickstarted an acrimonious offseason for the two sides, with Simmons demanding a trade and refusing to report to training camp.
But reports of team president Daryl Morey being stonewalled in bids to offload Simmons multiplied in recent weeks.
Simmons, 25, who has four years left on his current contract, took his first COVID-19 test on Monday and had an “individual workout” observed by Rivers midweek.
Last season, the three-time All-Star averaged 14.3 points, 6.9 assists and 7.2 rebounds in 58 games.