Absent from the morning shootaround with the Philadelphia 76ers at Detroit on Friday, Ben Simmons remained listed as doubtful for the preseason game against the Pistons.
Simmons’ return to team workouts was restricted by COVID-19 protocols according to head coach Doc Rivers, who said Thursday he expected the All-Star point guard to be back with the team “soon.”
Simmons reported to the 76ers on Monday, an unannounced arrival that took management and Rivers by surprise.
The regular season begins at New Orleans for the 76ers, who visit the Pelicans on Wednesday.
Following last season’s playoff loss to the Atlanta Hawks, Rivers and All-Star teammate Joel Embiid were less than complimentary of Simmons for passing up what appeared to be a sure two points in the paint.
The comments kickstarted an acrimonious offseason for the two sides, with Simmons demanding a trade and refusing to report to training camp.
But reports of team president Daryl Morey being stonewalled in bids to offload Simmons multiplied in recent weeks.
Simmons, 25, who has four years left on his current contract, took his first COVID-19 test on Monday and had an “individual workout” observed by Rivers midweek.