Ben Simmons will not play NBA basketball this season.
The first overall pick in last June’s NBA Draft has been ruled out for the remainder of his rookie season after scans revealed his broken right foot has not yet healed.
Sixers general manager Bryan Colangelo made the announcement at a news conference Friday, saying that Simmons is “heartbroken” and “wants to play”.
"We've always anticipated that there would be an opportunity for him to play, hopefully this season," Colangelo said. "But there was always an outside chance that it didn't happen because there wasn't complete or full healing.
"We were not going to put Ben Simmons in a situation where he was at risk for a refracture."
Simmons first suffered a Jones fracture of the fifth metatarsal (bone) in his right foot on the final day of training camp back in September. According to Philly.Com, Thursday’s scan revealed that an inside portion of the bone wasn’t fully mended together.
"Unfortunately, Ben is going to sit out. That's the bad news. The good news is one day he'll put on a uniform," Colangelo said. "It's not the way you want to start your career, but it happens. We're not excited about the news today. Ben is heartbroken."
After undergoing surgery to repair the fracture to the fifth metatarsal in September, Simmons was expected to be sidelined for three months, with an initial return date of January targeted.
Unfortunately for all involved, an NBA debut will need to wait until next season. Results from the latest scan evidently show that Simmons isn't 100 percent ready to go.