Doctor Provides Critical Injury Update on Nets Ben Simmons: Report

Ben Simmons

Getty Nets star Ben Simmons.

June 20th, 2021. That was the date of Game 7 of the East Conference Semifinals between the Atlanta Hawks and the Philadelphia 76ers. It is also the last time Ben Simmons played in an NBA game. Simmons did not play a game for the Sixers this season after demanding a trade in the offseason and refusing to play until the Sixers found a viable trade partner. In the final hours of the trade deadline, the Brooklyn Nets and Sixers swapped their disgruntled superstars. The Sixers sent Simmons to Brooklyn in exchange for All-NBA guard James Harden.

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Ex-team Doctor Provides Grim Injury Update on Ben Simmons

The Nets executed that trade knowing that Simmons, having such a long layover since he last played, would need a ramp-up period and thus would not be immediately available to play. But it has been over a month since the Nets brought the 3-time All-Star to Brooklyn. And a back injury has caused Simmons’ return date to suffer a major setback. With the playoffs quickly approaching, his unavailability is becoming more of a concern. One former NBA team doctor even questions if Simmons will return this season at all.

“I don’t think that’s happening. I think the odds are against it. Think about it this way: The longer he’s been out, the longer he’s likely to stay out. Until you fundamentally change the underlying problem,” Dr. Rahul Shah, a board-certified orthopedic spine & neck surgeon, and former Orlando Magic team doctor told Brian Lewis of the New York Post about the chances of a Simmons return this season.

“I don’t think he’s coming back [this season]. I don’t think that you have anything to say that he will convincingly. He’s got to do the running in the sprinting before he can do one-on-one or five-on-five.”

Dr. Shah also says that Simmons’ injury is not something that can be corrected with natural rehab. According to him, the Nets star will need some sort of corrective procedure before he can return to the court.

“What do I think is going to happen? The season ends, media goes quiet, he takes care of whatever he needs to. And then he’s rehabbing, and he comes back: ‘Oh yeah, he had a minor procedure done on his back.’ That’s what I think is going to happen,” Shah continued. “That might be a shot, and most likely it’ll be a procedure following the shot.”

Kyrie Still Has Faith He’ll Be a Full-Time Player

Simmons’ injury has heightened the urgency for Kyrie Irving’s part-time status to get converted to full-time. Although there does not seem to be much of a chance that New York City will lift its private-sector mandate that is preventing Irving from playing home games, the Nets star says that he still has faith that he will eventually be a full-time player this season.

“Absolutely. My faith in things turning around hasn’t changed. It hasn’t wavered,” Irving told reporters per NetsDaily. “I wouldn’t be able to sit up here and talk about it with you guys comfortably unless I had a big supporting group behind me. They’ve been selfless this whole time.”

With the end of the season nearing, there are still a lot of questions surrounding the continuity of this Nets roster. But as winners of four in a row Brooklyn has proven that despite all the turmoil, they are still viable contenders.

 READ NEXT: LeBron, Kevin Durant, & Others React to Kyrie Irving Historic Performance

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