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Ben Simmons injury marks the 5th straight year a key 76ers player has missed an entire season

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Bad luck, or a pattern?

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Philadelphia 76ers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

We now know that Ben Simmons will miss his entire rookie season with a foot injury. We know the 76ers have experienced season-ending injuries to key players in the past.

But this is still an incredible stat.

Each injury had its own unique circumstances, but this is all true:

Andrew Bynum’s bowling saga

The 76ers acquired Bynum and his shaky knees in a four-team blockbuster involving Dwight Howard in the summer of 2012. In early October, he underwent a procedure that was supposed to keep him out for training camp. The 76ers set an Oct. 24 return for him, but when he wasn’t ready, they kept him out for the first month of the season. One month turned into two, during which Bynum inexplicably revealed that the entire plan from the beginning was to hold him out for 2-3 months.

And then the bowling thing happened. Bynum, an avid bowler, couldn’t keep himself off the lanes during his recovery. In the process, he re-aggravated the knee injury and was later forced to admit it. That, and not the idea of a 2-3-month original timetable, explained his extended absence.

To make matters worse, Bynum began feeling pain in his left knee just as his right knee improved. He looked poised to return in early March (it’d have been even earlier if he wouldn’t just stop breaking treadmills), but experienced yet another setback. Finally, in mid-March, the 76ers announced what we all knew: Bynum was done for the season.

Bynum never played a game in Philadelphia.

Nerlens Noel sits out his rookie year

The 76ers traded Jrue Holiday to take Noel, even though he tore his ACL in February. Rather than bring him back to play on a horrible team, they held him out all season so he could recover. He’s now in Dallas, much to 76ers fans’ chagrin.

Joel Embiid misses two straight years

The 76ers took the future Mr. Process third in the 2014 NBA draft despite teams discovering a foot injury during a pre-draft workout. Then-general manager Sam Hinkie took the long view, deciding that there was no reason to rush back Embiid to play on a horrible team. He was expected to miss 4-6 months, but the 76ers, as usual, played it sage.

That was not a particularly fun rehab for Embiid. He reportedly brushed off instruction from trainers, gained weight, and had a much-publicized blow-up with an assistant coach that even coach Brett Brown acknowledged. He then suffered a setback in March and another setback in June. The 76ers, deciding there was no need to rush back Embiid to play on a horrible team, decided to rule him out for the 2015-16, as well.

Embiid has finally hit the court and has proven to be a revelation, though another minor injury looms.

Ben Simmons’ feet fail him

The 76ers’ No. 1 overall pick suffered a Jones fracture during a routine drive to the basket in a training camp practice. Initial estimates placed the timetable at 2-3 months, which would have placed Simmons’ return at the end of November or December.

That timeline dragged into late January even as the 76ers claimed Simmons was on schedule with no setbacks. ESPN’s Chris Haynes even reported that Simmons would return after the All-Star break. After fans grew restless with the silence on Simmons’ status, general manager Bryan Colangelo went on the radio and said the “goal” was to get him on the court with Embiid.

But that public posturing proved to be incorrect. A Feb. 23 CAT scan revealed that Simmons indeed suffered a setback. A day later, Colangelo announced that Simmons would miss the entire season. There was no need to rush him back to play on a slightly less horrible team. Sensing a theme?

If you’re keeping score, that’s four big men and five season-ending injuries in five years. Whoever the 76ers draft this year might want to stay off their feet. Just in case.