Australian NBA star Ben Simmons could be nearing a return to the court soon following a fresh sighting at a 76ers shootaround.
Simmons, who has been out of action due to personal reasons, was spotted with the team at Philadelphia’s training facility for the first time since being kicked out of practice earlier this month.
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The Aussie didn’t play in Philadelphia’s win over Atlanta today, but was seen on an exercise bike with a ball in his hands during the team’s shootaround before the game.
A local Philadelphia media member captured the moment.
The 76ers will play the Trail Blazers on Tuesday, followed by the Bulls on Thursday.
It remains to be seen whether Simmons will be made available for either of those home matches.
76ers coach Doc Rivers was asked about Simmons’ availability but said he wasn’t sure when the Australian would be back.
“I have no idea, honestly. I stay out of it,” Rivers said today.
“My job is to coach the guys who are here and then believe that the guys that are on the team will play some day.
“That’s all I have to be as a coach. So, I don’t get caught up in all the stuff, you know, the clutter, I guess you can say it is. I try to stay out of that as much as I can. I do talk to (Simmons’ agent) Rich (Paul) quite a bit, but it’s more on a personal level.”
The 25-year-old earlier this month was kicked out of practice by the 76ers coach and suspended for his refusal to participate in a defensive drill when called upon.
Simmons for several weeks now has been pushing for a trade, and while that situation has gotten ugly at times, it’s since been reported the three-time NBA All-Star is battling mental health issues, which has cast doubt over his return.
Things have seemingly turned since Simmons told teammates and officials he is not mentally ready to play for the Sixers. Since the announcement, star teammate Joel Embiid changed his tune about the Aussie, urging the Sixers supporters to get behind him.
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