Ben Simmons back at practice, not in 'game shape' per Doc Rivers: 'When he's ready, he'll play'

·2 min read

For the first time since ending his holdout and reporting to Philadelphia, Ben Simmons was back at 76ers practice on Sunday. 

When he'll play for the 76ers isn't clear. 

Head coach Doc Rivers told reporters that Simmons is in "decent shape" and that there's no game plan for his return to game action.

"I'm gonna wait and see," Rivers said. "Conditioning, I would say, just watching him, he's in decent shape. Still not, obviously, game shape."

When asked specifically about Simmons' availability to play in this week's season opener against the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday, Rivers said he's not thinking about it yet. 

"Right now, I'm just trying to get him back comfortable and integrated," Rivers said. "I'm not even thinking about that. That'll come at some point. There's no game plan there, I'll tell you that. When he's ready, he'll play."

TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 22:  Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers warms up prior to their NBA game against the Toronto Raptors at Scotiabank Arena on January 22, 2020 in Toronto, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
Ben Simmons was back at practice on Sunday. (Cole Burston/Getty Images/file)

Simmons didn't speak with reporters on Sunday. The All-Star point guard skipped training camp and didn't play in the preseason amid a holdout and reports that he does not want to play for the 76ers anymore. The team reportedly shopped him on the trade market, but didn't find suitors willing to meet their asking price. 

Tensions escalated between Simmons and the team after Philadelphia's second-round playoff came with widespread criticism that Simmons was unwilling to shoot as he became an offensive liability. He made an unexpected return to the team last Monday after being fined $360,000 for missing a preseason game. He faced the prospect of continued fines as the 76ers reportedly held more than $8 million of his $33 million salary in escrow

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