You want the good news or the bad news?
The bad news is that Ben Simmons is listed as questionable for tomorrow night’s game against the Pistons with the same lower back tightness that forced him out of Saturday’s win after just eight minutes of play.
“He’s progressing and he did not go through practice today,” said head coach Brett Brown on Monday afternoon. “I believe our club will put out some level of more information later, but he’s progressing.”
“Nobody said he’s definitely not playing, that’s as candid as I can be.”
I saw Simmons having some work done on his back after practice, with a pair of trainers having him do push downs on what looked like a straight lateral bar. One trainer had some kind of monitor on Simmons’ lower back while he slowly did fixed weight reps on the machine.
The good news is that Joel Embiid is on no restriction whatsoever for the Sixers’ first back-to-back of the season. Mike Muscala was also upgraded from “doubtful” to “questionable” after participating fully in Monday’s session, though Brown said he “personally does not think” he’ll have his backup power forward on Tuesday or Wednesday.
“He moved around okay today,” said Brown of Muscala. “I think one of the things we’re all aware of, concerned of, he felt like last year he was in rehab a lot, then would go play, then back to rehab and treatment and go play, and never really got ahead of it. My advice to him, our direction to him, is that ‘you come back when you feel like you’re not going to be chasing.’ I don’t want him chasing. When he comes back he’ll be good to go and we expect that to be good enough to sustain longevity.”
Wilson Chandler remains out with his hamstring strain and was a partial practice participant. He’ll be reevaluated prior to Saturday’s home game with Charlotte. Jerryd Bayless and Zhaire Smith are also on the injury report, out with a left knee sprain and Jones fracture, respectively.