The Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Ben Simmons will undergo laparoscopic left knee surgery and are likely to miss out for the rest of the season, sources tell ESPN.
Simmons will have a body loose from his left knee in the coming days, the team announced on Saturday.
Sources say only a playoff with the Deep Sixers has been able to hold glimpse hope of his return this season. Even then, his return after the procedure – slated to take place off the Disney campus in the coming days ̵1; is largely expected to arrive next season. The Sixers are currently gearing up for a post-season run that will come without Simmons, one of the tournament’s most versatile and talented weapons.
Loose body was the result of a left kneecap in Wednesday’s win over Washington Wizards. Pateloid slip means the kneecap sticks out of position but returns itself.
The Sixers have moved Simmons into a powerful striker position, and now the team’s attacking focus has shifted entirely to the All-Star Joel Embiid hub. The Sixers would have a significant impact on defense without Simmons, and they would count on a firing squad around Embiid that could give him more room to operate around the basket.
Injury also meant the return of Al Horford in the Philadelphia starting line-up. Horford had been replaced at the outset by the keeper Shake Milton when Simmons was transferred to power after the Sixers arrived in Orlando, but has now returned to starting with Embiid.
The Sixers have struggled to maximize the talents of both the big boys as they have had to share the pitch together since signing Horford on a free form last summer. That has caused Brown to try to limit the time they spend together in the future. Now he has very little choice but to try to make it work.
Horford started alongside Embiid and played quite well in Philadelphia’s 108-101 win over Orlando Magic on Friday, ending with 21 points and nine rebounds in 30 minutes.
“We need [Horford] more than we ever needed him, “Brown later said.
ESPN’s Tim Bontemps contributed to this report.