76ers’ Simmons (knee) leaves game vs. Wizards

NBA

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Philadelphia 76ers star Ben Simmons left Wednesday’s game against the Washington Wizards with a left knee injury.

Simmons went up and grabbed a rebound midway through the third quarter, then slowly dribbled out to the court and flipped a pass to Al Horford. As a whistle blew to stop play, he turned toward Philadelphia’s bench, flexed his left leg, touched the back of it and then walked off the court.

He then slowly walked directly to the locker room, where he was soon joined by Sixers general manager Elton Brand.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the early indications are encouraging on Simmons’ condition, with no pain or swelling in his left knee.

Philadelphia was happy to have Simmons, 24, back for the resumption of the NBA season inside the league’s bubble at Walt Disney World Resort, after a back injury he suffered in the first quarter of a game in Milwaukee on Feb. 22 kept him out through the suspension of the season on March 11 and at least left open the possibility of Simmons missing the playoffs had the season gone on as scheduled.

Instead, Simmons not only has returned to Philadelphia’s lineup in the bubble, but he’s done so at a new position — power forward — as coach Brett Brown has replaced Horford in the starting lineup with second-year point guard Shake Milton.

Simmons played 23 minutes Wednesday, finishing with 8 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. The playoffs are scheduled to begin on Aug. 17.

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