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October 21, 2016

Sixers injury updates: Brown backtracks on Simmons; knee surgery for Noel

On Friday, ahead of their preseason finale against the Heat, Sixers coach Brett Brown got a little ahead of himself when talking about how rookie Ben Simmons was progressing following his foot surgery earlier this month.

After reports suggested that Simmons would be sidelined for three months, putting him on track for a return date sometime before the All-Star break, Brown hinted at January being a possibility

Previously, the Sixers' line was that there was no timetable for return, and this was the first time anyone from the team had offered up a potential return date. A few hours later, however, Brown changed his tune.

Here's more via Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer:

"It's not doom and gloom," Brown said during Friday morning's shootaround at American Airlines Arena. "Ben is coming back in January. We are still trying to find information on Jerryd [Bayless]. Jahlil [Okafor] is still trying to touch the court in his first preseason game."

Then, perhaps after talking to team officials, Brown backed off that statement when the Sixers' digital content coordinator asked for an update on Simmons hours after his initial comments appeared on

"I was just getting excited about how soon he might be able to come back," Brown said. "There are so much speculation and dates as a coach you sort of want to hear what you want to hear at a time. I did mention a January hopeful return. That is premature.

"That is a coach doing a lot more wishing than receiving instruction. So we will play this out. Everything is on track with his rehabilitation."  []

As for the official team stance on the No. 1 overall pick in this summer's draft, there's still no timeline for when he will return to the court. But based on the information provided on Friday, it appears the first stage of his recovery is going well.

Simmons, who underwent successful surgery to repair an acute Jones fracture of the fifth metatarsal of his right foot on October 4, recently had his two-week, post-operative exam. Simmons had his sutures removed and is continuing to progress with his day-to-day rehabilitation and recovery under the guidance of Sixers Director of Performance Research & Development Dr. David T. Martin, and Sixers Director of Physiotherapy and Clinical Diagnostics Scott Epsley.  []

Nerlens going under the knife

Nerlens Noel hasn't played in two weeks due to a groin strain and, according to the Sixers, he'll be sidelined for a little bit longer due to a new injury, one that was discovered while the center was receiving treatment for the original injury.

Noel will undergo what the team called "a minor surgical procedure" to address left knee soreness that was determined to be inflamed plica. There was no immediate timetable for when Noel, who elected to have his knee scoped after consulting with multiple specialists, could return to action, but the team did say that the surgery will take place "in the coming days."

No surgery for Bayless ... for now

The Sixers also announced that guard Jerryd Bayless has opted not to undergo surgery on his sore left wrist. After doctors concluded the left wrist injury that has kept him sidelined since training camp was a ligament injury, Bayless consulted multiple hand and wrist specialists and decided to pursue a non-surgical option.

He will continue his rehabilitation for the next two weeks – he has been able to participate in non-contact workouts -- and will be re-evaluated at that time.

Follow Matt on Twitter: @matt_mullin