Ben Simmons is already working towards a return to the basketball court, and it won't be long now before we see him back in action.
But for fans who were hoping to see him return to Philadelphia on March 10th, the latest update from ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski was not good news.
In a new report, Woj basically confirmed Simmons will not make his debut that night -- though, the possibility still exists that he could end up playing if he returns a game or two before.
"Ben Simmons, he won’t be back this week,” Wojnarowski said (h/t Erin Walsh of Bleacher Report). “We’re 12 days away from that March 10 date that everyone in the league is looking at in Philadelphia, Nets-Sixers. I know this: That won’t be Ben Simmons’ debut. They would not put him in that game as a first game. So either he comes back just prior or perhaps just after. But his return is going to come on the heels of Durant.”
So, the door is still open that we get to see Simmons return to Philly this season, but are plenty of doubts that he has any plans to show up.
His former teammate, Danny Green, certainly doesn't expect it.
“Now, will we shake hands to start? Probably not,” Green said. “First, I’d be highly surprised if he even plays in that game. I don’t know where his health is — mentally, physically, I know he had other issues — and we all know he does not like to play in Philly. So if he does play in that game, I’d be highly surprised. But say that does happen? I see it as being a very hectic playoff-like environment, atmosphere, to where it may be very rough for him. Depending on how he acts — I don’t have any ill wills towards the guy. I don’t hate him, I don’t dislike him, it’s just — for me it’s whatever. I don’t waste more energy going out of my way to dislike him or spend any more energy trying to go out of my way to hate him or do things to him.
76ers fans have a right to be upset with Simmons. After losing in the playoffs a year ago (largely due to Ben's own shortcomings offensively), he quit on the team and cut all ties, forcing Philly's hand and dragging out a long battle with team GM Daryl Morey.
He was finally traded earlier this month, but bitter feelings still hang in the air.
Ben can expect heavy resistance if ever returns to Philadelphia. And if he suits up on March 10th, it will be a remarkable show of strength and courage.