The Sixers have been the talk of the town lately. With their latest efforts acquiring number one overall pick Markelle Fultz and signing free agent sniper J.J. Redick to compliment Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, the sky is the limit. With training camp roughly a month away, this is one of most anticipated seasons in recent memory. The Sixers will enter training camp fully healthy… or will they?
Ben Simmons, after missing his entire rookie season to repair a broken foot he suffered in training camp last year, has been cleared for full basketball activities, “for some time” now.
ben simmons playing pick up ball in Australia, first footage we've seen in a while (via kos1234 on YT) pic.twitter.com/GFNqnmDmhx
— drew (@Dcorrigan50) August 22, 2017
As you can see, Simmons is taking part in a men’s league in his hometown of Australia by throwing down some vicious dunks. That is excellent news, and an excellent sight to see, as Simmons is expected to carry a big chunk of the load for the Sixers. Brett Brown and Brian Colangelo have been adamant about the former LSU product running the show as the team’s primary ball handler.
But according to the Bucks County Courier Times, Joel Embiid has yet to be fully cleared. The star center suffered what was announced as a knee contusion back on January 20th against the Portland Trailblazers. Embiid’s last game came a week later when he played a nationally televised game against the Houston Rockets. Later in February, Colangelo admitted he withheld information, and said that Embiid played against the Rockets with a minor meniscus tear. Embiid underwent surgery in March.
So, here we are in late August, more than five months later and a month away from training camp, and Embiid still isn’t cleared. Should we be nervous? When is it appropriate to voice concern?
Given how the Sixers medical staff has handled past injuries, for example, Embiid’s situation and Jahlil Okafor’s reoccurring soreness in the knee he was operated on in March of 2016, it is slightly concerning that Embiid has yet to be cleared. It is encouraging that he’s posted several videos of himself working on his game.
I don’t think there needs to be too much concern as of now. But once we start getting into the first and second week of September and there’s no word on the second-year center, that’s when you can ask, “What’s going on here?” The Sixers sure haven’t given us any reason to give them the benefit of the doubt.
Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports