The Brooklyn Nets are hoping to check their losing skid and new recruit Ben Simmons could give Steve Nash and company some help. Unfortunately, the Australian cager is still not available although he will be accompanying his teammates when they visit the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Simmons is not yet fit to play but will make the return trip to Philadelphia. He is expected to be on the bench at the Wells Fargo Center per sources.

Before heading to Philly, the Nets will be playing the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday. The Nets are on a four-game losing skid and need all the help they can get.

But with Simmons still nursing a back injury, Nash will have to turn to other players to step up and provide the regulars some needed help.

As for Simmons, he is expected to get a rude welcome. He is expected to hear the boos and jeers from disgruntled Sixers fans, especially considering he sat out most of the season while technically still a member of the Sixers.

That all changed when the Sixers traded him to the Nets for James Harden. But like other players who move to other teams, the 25-year-old is expected to hear it from the predominant Sixers crowd.

Before word got out that Simmons will be returning to Philly, most cautioned that Simmons should be ready for the backlash. His mental issue excuse is one of the most-talked-about problems to date and returning to the team that he left is likely to add more color to that angle.

Recently, former teammate Danny Green said that Simmons is unlikely to play in Philly. He shared his thoughts when he appeared on his podcast via Adam Herman of NBC Sports Philadelphia.

“First, I’d be highly surprised if he even plays in that game. I don’t know where his health is – mentally, physically, I know he had other issues – and we all know he does not like to play in Philly. So if he does play in that game, I’d be highly surprised,” Green stated.

 Ben Simmons #10 of the Brooklyn Nets
Ben Simmons #10 of the Brooklyn Nets Getty Images | Michelle Farsi

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