By Leonard King

Sixers All-Stars Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons have been using the team’s practice facility recently, Sixers general manager Elton Brand admitted yesterday.

According to the Inky, Brand said the players received permission to use the facility:

“Ben and others have been given permission to use our facility,” Brand revealed. “It is essential that they can get the proper equipment to work out and rehab. So that’s where he’s been. He’s been doing that ever since the first week. We were able to get him access there.”

Brand added this about Embiid:

“Embiid has been working out [in the practice facility]. You know he’s conditioning. He’s focused. He’s asking about when his trainer can come in, when he can get on the court. I wouldn’t bet against him. He’s going to be ready and ramped up.”

Previously, the NBA announced that it was targeting this coming Friday, May 8 as the earliest possible date to reopen some team facilities, though apparently the Sixers stars got some early access.

The league’s initial proposal for how to safely let players and staff return to practice facilities included multiple restrictions in order to best maintain social distancing, including no groups larger than four and no coaches present:

 

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Brand noted that Simmons is close to being cleared for basketball activities after suffering nerve damage in his back before the season was suspended:

“We’ve took our time, we’ve been methodical and thoughtful about his recovery and rehab, just to make sure, because we weren’t in a rush,” Brand said. “It’s hard to speculate. He’s been working hard and I know he’d be close or ready.”