The Philadelphia 76ers said Tuesday that All-Stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons would miss Thursday’s game against the Chicago Bulls, and that Simmons will miss Friday’s game against the Washington Wizards, due to the same contact tracing. that kept them away by participating in Sunday’s All-Star Game in Atlanta.
Assuming both continue to test negative for COVID-19, as they have done thus far, Embiid will be eligible to return for Friday night’s game against Washington, while Simmons will be able to return Sunday at home against the San Antonio Spurs.
Both players were withdrawn from Sunday’s All-Star Game after they had been in contact with a barber in Philadelphia who later tested positive for COVID-19. However, the NBA had strict quarantines for everyone involved in the league’s midseason showcase, and the two players were able to depart Atlanta later that day and return to Philadelphia. They were the only two people involved in the game who had problems with a positive test or with contact tracing over the weekend.
The Sixers finished the first half of the season with the best record in the Eastern Conference, half a game ahead of the Brooklyn Nets. They will practice Wednesday night before returning to the court in Chicago on Thursday.
Embiid is in the midst of the best season of his career, averaging more than 30 points and 11 rebounds per game, and as a result is one of the top contenders for the NBA MVP award.
Simmons is averaging 16.1 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7.6 assists per game, and has combined his always impressive defensive skills with a recent burst of offensive aggression, including scoring 42 points at Utah last month in a game that Embiid missed. to get injured.