Updated: 5:35 p.m.

The Sixers appeared to be returning from the All-Star break relatively healthy.

So much for that.

All-Star Ben Simmons is out for Thursday’s game against the Nets with lower back tightness. Simmons reported discomfort at practice Wednesday and received treatment, per a team source. He woke up Thursday morning and was still experiencing discomfort and received treatment at the team's facility. His status for Saturday's game against the Bucks will be updated Friday.

The only injury update that was given at Wednesday’s practice was that Joel Embiid would no longer be wearing a splint on his left hand. Embiid had surgery to repair a torn ligament in the ring finger of his left hand back on Jan. 10. He played in the All-Star Game with his fingers buddy taped.

Even Josh Richardson, who’s dealt with injuries to both hamstrings this season, said on Wednesday that he was feeling good.

Simmons has been one of the Sixers' most durable players. After missing his draft year with a broken foot, Simmons played 81 games his rookie season and 79 last year. This will be just the third game he's missed this season.

With the Nets in town, the Sixers could've really used Simmons. He’s been playing at a Defensive Player of the Year level this season and Brooklyn boasts a dangerous guard duo in Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris LeVert.

With 27 games left in the regular season, the Sixers sit in fifth in the East. Health has been an issue so far this year and will likely be crucial to the team making a late push in the conference playoff picture.

 

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