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.
First #Sixers practice with Ben Simmons today. HC Glenn Rivers asked when Simmons will play in a game with season starting Wednesday in New Orleans and then Thursday first home game. @SportsRadioWIP pic.twitter.com/Lefay7mix2
— Howard Eskin (@howardeskin) October 17, 2021
"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."
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.