Surgery 'likely' for 76ers' top NBA draft pick Simmons

Washington (AFP) –


Ben Simmons, the NBA's number one overall draft pick who broke his foot in training with the Philadelphia 76ers, will likely need surgery, Sixers president Bryan Colangelo confirmed Sunday.

Colangelo, speaking after Philadelphia's first official practice at their new training facility, offered few specifics about the injury, a fracture to the fifth metatarsal bone.

He did not confirm the Philadelphia Inquirer's report that Australia's Simmons will have surgery next week to repair what's commonly referred to as a Jones fracture.

"There is nobody, sadly, that's had more experience dealing with injured draft picks than we have," said 76ers coach Brett Brown. "So over the course of time, you learn how to best deal with it."

Simmons is the Sixers' fourth straight first-round acquisition to be sidelined by injury in his rookie season.

Nerlens Noel, taken in the 2013 draft, missed his first year with a torn knee ligament.

Joel Embiid, the third overall pick in 2014, has yet to play after surgeries to repair an injury to the navicular bone in his right foot.

Embiid said he felt for Simmons and that what he learned most about his own experience was the need for patience.

"I told him to keep his head up and everything's going to be OK; patience," Embiid said. "And I don't know yet when he's having the surgery, but there's a lot of good doctors around, so I think he's going to be OK."

Brown said that regardless of how long Simmons is sidelined, the team plans to take a "holistic" approach to his recovery, keeping him involved even if he isn't playing.

"There needs to be understanding that there's an opportunity to educate (Simmons) in the film room, watching different NBA players and teaching him," Brown said. "There might be an opportunity where we sit him in a chair and remake his shot, rebuild his shot, and really spend time with the fundamentals of his shot."