Rehabbing Ben Simmons of 76ers: 'My time will come'

PHILADELPHIA -- Ben Simmons watched the 76ers open their 2016-17 campaign without him. But the No. 1 overall pick hopes to make his NBA debut later this season.

While saying there is no timetable for a return from surgery to repair an acute Jones fracture in his right foot, Simmons insisted there has been no talk about shutting it down for his entire rookie season.

"No," Simmons said flatly, when asked if anyone has advised him to sit out the season to let his foot recover. "There's a lot of talk; somebody put that out there. But I will come back when I am ready.

"There is no timetable on getting healthy. I am working every day to get back. As soon as they tell me I can play, I will be out there."

Simmons, drafted first overall out of LSU, had a screw inserted in his right foot on Oct. 4. He is expected to miss three months.

"I came down on somebody's foot, so it wasn't anything weight-wise or anything to do with that," the 6-foot-10, 250-pound Simmons said ahead of the 76ers' opener against the Thunder. "My playing weight was fine. I know a lot of talk was about that. It happened."

Simmons said he was feeling confident prior to the injury about the prospects of playing alongside promising Sixers prospects, including Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor. Embiid made his long-awaited debut on Wednesday night after enduring two surgeries on his foot.

"Just take your time," Embiid said of his advice to Simmons. "That is what I learned from going through my first rehab. Don't rush anything. Listen to what those guys have to say."

Simmons will remain with the team as he rehabs and stays in constant contact with Sixers coach Brett Brown.

"It was tough just knowing what happened, but I will have my first game eventually," Simmons said. "My time will come."