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Ben Simmons still ‘a ways away’ from making debut, Brett Brown says

Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown admits that Ben Simmons remains “a ways away” from making his NBA debut. But Brown made it clear he cannot wait to work with the rookie.

“I’m sort of a prisoner to people telling me,” Brown said, via Bucks County Courier Times. “That certainly hasn’t been said. I would assume it’s a ways away.”

Simmons, who hasn’t played or been a full practice participant since suffering a fracture of the fifth metatarsal bone of his right foot on Sept. 30, received encouraging news about his recovery earlier this week. A scheduled scan reportedly revealed Simpson’s foot has fully healed, per a report from ESPN’s Chris Haynes, and that the rookie could make his NBA debut shortly after the All-Star break.

The Sixers, however, are pumping the brakes a bit on such a notion. The team indicated instead that Simmons is recovering as expected. As it stands, Simmons is working out lightly and participating in five-on-none, non-contact drills. There is currently no timetable for Simmons to participate in five-on-five practices, a necessity for him to ultimately return to action.

Regarding ramping up Simmons’ workload, Brown says the 76ers are “drip feeding this slowly” and being “very cautious.” But what Brown has seen so far out of the heralded rookie makes him eager to get to work with the 20-year-old out of LSU.

“To see brief little things that he does, gift-wise, skill-wise on the court, you get excited for many different reasons and your mind wanders in different directions,” Brown said, via CSN Philly. “He’s ours and I think probably the city feels like I do. We’re really excited to get him in a uniform and watch him play basketball.”

The Sixers are in the beginning stages of an organizational renaissance after years of ineptitude.. With the charismatic Joel Embiid already establishing himself among the NBA’s top young stars, the addition of Simmons may mean the Sixers are on the rise to relevancy. Finally.