It appeared following the NBA draft this summer that things were beginning to finally look up for the Philadelphia 76ers.
However, on Friday afternoon, those thoughts changed, when the No. 1 overall pick in the June NBA draft, Ben Simmons, rolled his ankle during a scrimmage in training camp.
Team officials said precautionary images of his right ankle would be taken and only a few hours later, news that no one wanted to receive was announced.
The star rookie fractured his fifth metatarsal of his right foot. A timetable for Simmons returning has not been released.
Simmons has been followed by NBA teams for years. He was a big prospect while playing high school ball at Montverde Academy and then for his one season at LSU last year.
LSU did not impress last season and many criticized Simmons for that, but it became obvious very quickly, that he had what it took to be an NBA star one day.
The 76ers organization felt the same way and took him first overall in the June draft. Nike felt that way about Simmons, signing the youngster to a huge contract earlier in the summer after he was drafted.
Both Nike and the 76ers are counting on the player to become a superstar. The Sixers with Simmons and Joel Embiid, who missed two years with an injury, and Dario Saric, who has been playing in Europe two seasons, were full of talent, even if the players all played the same position.
However, for now all that is put on hold, as the team must wait for Simmons to become healthy again. While Philadelphia did not release any timetable for his return, it seems that at least 6 to 8 weeks will be needed for the fractured bone to heal.
That would mean Simmons’ debut in the NBA would not happen until a month or more into the 2016-17 regular season.
Foot fractures are becoming more commonplace in the NBA. Simmons is 6-foot-10 and in college weighed 240 pounds. He said he added muscle as well over the summer, which could be concerning to the team.
Kevin Durant sat out most of 2014-2015 season, due to a fractured bone in his foot that was followed by complications.
Brook Lopez of the Brooklyn Nets lost part of two seasons due to fractured bones in the foot.
Yao Ming and Bill Walton two Hall of Famers had their careers shortened due to foot fractures. However, players such as Pau Gasol had the same fracture and after healing never were bothered again.