Broken ankle to sideline Aussie NBA rookie Simmons
BASKETBALL: No.1 NBA draft pick Ben Simmons is facing three months on the sidelines after it was confirmed he will have surgery on a broken ankle.
The Australian landed on the foot of Philadelphia 76ers teammate Shawn Long's foot during a training session on Saturday (AEST) and sustained an acute fracture of the fifth metatarsal bone.
There had been speculation the injury had been caused by Simmons' recent weight gain of about 15kg, but ESPN reported the Sixers and doctors involved believed Simmons suffered an acute injury and not a stress reaction.
Long-time NBA trainer Tim Grover, who worked with former NBA stars Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant, tweeted: "Ben Simmons puts on 33 lbs, now a broken foot. Related? For sure. Athletes can't add that much weight that quickly w/out impacting movement.”
Simmons, 20, is the 76ers' first top overall pick since Allen Iverson in 1996.
The 76ers have had a bad run with high draft picks.
Nerlens Noel tore his ACL and missed his entire rookie season in 2013-14.
Joel Embiid, who was also selected third overall in 2014, has yet to play in an NBA game after foot surgeries, while Jahlil Okafor picked up a season-ending knee injury after playing in 53 games.
Coach Brett Brown said both Embiid and Okafor would play in the Sixers' first pre-season game on Wednesday (AEST) against the Boston Celtics.