Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons won’t be able to return to the court with the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday after being exposed to COVID-19 ahead of the All-Star Game last week, the team said on Tuesday, via ESPN.
Embiid and Simmons will both miss the 76ers game against the Chicago Bulls on Thursday, and then Simmons will have to miss Friday’s game against the Washington Wizards, too.
As long as they both keep testing negative, Embiid can play against the Wizards and then Simmons can return for Sunday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs.
Embiid, Simmons pulled from All-Star Game at last second
Embiid and Simmons were both ruled out of the All-Star Game on Sunday morning after they reportedly received haircuts from a barber who later tested positive for the coronavirus. The two had traveled to Atlanta on private planes and didn’t come into contact with anyone there.
They have tested negative repeatedly ever since. Nobody at the All-Star Game tested positive, either.
While he’s happy his two stars won’t be sidelined with the coronavirus itself, 76ers coach Doc Rivers knows how big of a hit the team will take in the first two games without them.
“So far, so good as their testing,” Rivers said Monday. “They feel great. They both obviously wanted to play [in the All-Star Game]. We’re disappointed.
“Both of them, their biggest concern would be if they could play the first two games when we get back … It would be tough to start the second half of the year and not have either one.”
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