Ben Simmons has been ruled out for the remainder of his rookie season after tests revealed that his broken right foot has not fully healed.
Philadelphia 76ers general manager Bryan Colangelo made the announcement Friday morning, saying that Simmons is “heartbroken” over the news and that the No. 1 overall draft pick “wants to play.”
Colangelo told reporters that the Sixers, who have 26 games remaining this season, feel there is not enough time left for Simmons to condition himself for game action.
“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.”
The 6-foot-10, 240-pound Simmons fractured his foot at the end of September and has not appeared in a regular-season game yet for Philadelphia.
“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.”
Simmons, who was Philadelphia’s first No. 1 overall pick since Allen Iverson in 1996, was going to play point-forward for the Sixers.
“Nothing has changed with the plan and the vision,” Colangelo said. “The plan is to build and sustain a successful basketball program.”
Colangelo also said star center Joel Embiid will miss at least four games because of a bruised left knee that has sidelined him for 11 of the last 12 games.