It seemed impossible in early October, but Ben Simmons is inching closer to getting back on the court with the Philadelphia 76ers. Simmons is reporting to the team daily and apparently will play games again once he feels mentally ready.
Head coach Doc Rivers confirmed Simmons is showing up "every day." Rivers added that Simmons' back is improving, and his return to the court will be based on his mental health.
Rivers on Simmons: “His back is getting better. It’s more about the mental. That’s where it’s at.” https://t.co/b5Rg2YphGw
— Noah Levick (@NoahLevick) October 28, 2021
The news marks yet another encouraging update between Simmons and the team. Things looked dicey after Simmons was kicked out of practice and suspended for the team's season opener.
Since then, things improved. Simmons met with the team Friday and explained he wasn't mentally ready to play. That meeting marked a turning point between Simmons and the organization. Both Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris expressed support for Simmons. Embiid did so while addressing fans prior to the team's home opener.
Simmons resumed workouts with the team after that meeting. He's also received treatment for his back and his mental health. Rivers said the back was "getting better" Thursday.
How soon will Ben Simmons return to the court?
Simmons' return will be dependent on his mental health, so it's impossible to know when he will be back. He is receiving treatment, and that's an encouraging sign.
From a physical perspective, things appear to be going well. Simmons' back feels good enough that he took part in the team's shoot around prior to Thursday's game against the Detroit Pistons. Rivers said Simmons did "a lot of shooting" during the shoot around.
The 76ers have gone 2-2 without Simmons to open the season.