This article is part of our NBA Injury Analysis series.
RotoWire's Jeff Stotts checks in on this week's key injuries around the NBA.
The Sixers are dealing with multiple injuries, including significant injuries for their two All-Stars. Simmons was the first of the two to go down after he aggravated a lower back injury. The issue was originally described as lower back tightness but was recently changed to lower back impingement.
Impingement occurs when a body tissue, like a nerve or muscle, becomes pinched somewhere in the body. The term has surfaced multiple times this NBA season, most famously with Kyrie Irving and his balky shoulder. However, Irving's injury likely involves a shoulder tendon or bursa sac while Simmons' injury likely involves a nerve.
Symptoms associated with an impinged nerve include pain, numbness, and potential muscle weakness. However, treating symptoms is only a temporary fix. It is essential for Simmons' long-term health that whatever is causing the impingement be identified and addressed. For lower-back impingement, that can be a multitude of things, including disc, muscle, or bone. Each of these options come with a different treatment plan, so it's unlikely Simmons moves past this problem quickly.
Obviously, the injury is a major blow for his fantasy value, though Shake Milton has emerged as a reasonable replacement in the short-term. Milton has averaged 21.3 points, 4.8 assists, and 4.3 made three-pointers since joining the Sixers' starting unit four games ago. Milton will continue to see major minutes, especially with Josh Richardson recovering from a nasal injury