76ers Ben Simmons leaves bubble for knee surgery


LAC BUENA VISTA, Fla – All-Star Ben Simmons will have left knee surgery, a big blow to the Philadelphia 76ers and their hopes of making a deep run in this season’s playoffs.

The 76ers announced on Saturday that Simmons will be leaving the NBA season reboot bubble at Walt Disney World. There was no immediate timeline for his return, and it is likely that no firm timeline for his recovery will be set before the operation.

Simmons left Philadelphia’s game against Washington on Wednesday midway through the third quarter with an injury, officially diagnosed as left kneecap subluxation. A subluxation is a partial and temporary dislocation; the patella is the patella.

Tests since then have revealed a loose body inside the knee, which led to the decision to have surgery.

“After consulting with 76ers medical staff and several specialists, Ben Simmons will undergo surgery in the next few days to remove a loose body in his left knee,” the 76ers said in a team statement on Saturday. “The loose body is the result of a subluxation of the left kneecap he suffered in Wednesday’s game against Washington. ”

Losing Simmons is the latest issue in a franchise that has gone through many tough breaks in recent years on the injury front. The 76ers went 47-199 in Coach Brett Brown’s first three seasons _ the start of the infamous ‘Trust The Process’ era _ then improved to 28-54 in 2016-17 and became one of the best clubs in the Eastern Conference in three seasons since.

“I sincerely believe this can galvanize our group and bring us closer together in an inverted way,” Brown said on Friday, speaking of Simmons’ absence.

Simmons is averaging 16.4 points, 8.0 assists and 7.8 rebounds this season, and his 35.4 minutes per game lead the 76ers. The 76ers have clinched a playoff berth and can’t fall below sixth in the Eastern Conference no matter what happens in the rest of the standings.


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