76ers’ Embiid returns, Simmons out at least 3 more weeks

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Ben Simmons

Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons goes up for a dunk during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls, Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid was back in the lineup Wednesday night against Detroit after missing five games with a sprained left shoulder. The Sixers also said guard Ben Simmons will miss at least three more weeks with nerve issues in his lower back.

Simmons missed his eighth straight game. He will continue to undergo daily treatment for his nerve impingement and that he is gradually increasing the activities in his strength and conditioning program.

The timeline could have Simmons back just in time for the playoffs. The 23-year-old Simmons averaged 16.7 points, 7.8 rebounds and 8.2 assists in 54 games.

Embiid was injured in a Feb. 26 loss at Cleveland when he collided with Ante Zizic. Embiid has missed 21 games this season. He’s averaging 23.2 points and 11.8 rebounds.

“It’s a spirit uplift. It’s a talent uplift,” coach Brett Brown said about Embiid’s return.

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