Brooklyn Nets star Ben Simmons has not entered an NBA game since the Sixers’ second-round exit from last year’s playoffs. A quick and easy transition to his new team would have been the ideal situation for the All-Star forward. But with the playoffs fast approaching, fans are still desperately awaiting his debut with no return date in sight.
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Ben Simmons Has Herniated Disc in Back
With the playoffs just around the corner, the Nets could not afford to receive any more bad news about their roster. Unfortunately for Nets fans, the latest update on Simmons is not positive. Nets head coach Steve Nash confirmed on Monday morning that Simmons is suffering from a herniated disc in his back.
“From what I know, he trained pretty hard for five-six months and was in a great place”, Nash said of the timeline of Simmons’ injury per NetsDaily. “Unfortunately, I think there was a little flare-up at some point in there, and it’s just never quite turned the corner since. He had months of five-six days a week on court and was doing very well. It’s just unfortunate but we’ll stay the course and hopefully have a good resolution to this in the near future.”
Nash: Nets Have ‘High Hopes’ Simmons Can Return This Season
Nash also says that the team remains optimistic that Simmons will play for them this season.
“I don’t think it changes the outcome necessarily,” Nash continued. “We still have high hopes that he can come back. He’s had moments during his rehab where he’s on the court doing some things and it looks like he’s about to turn a corner, and then there’s a little setback. So I still feel optimistic that he can play for us.”
Nash also notes that Simmons is no stranger to back injuries as it is something he has had to endure at multiple points during his career.
“He’s had this a couple of years ago, so he’s had [herniated disks] throughout his career at some points,” Nash continued. “And I guess there was a flare-up. I’m not sure when they recognized it was beyond a back flare-up and a herniated disc or whatnot, but somewhere along the line there, that was the reason for the epidural.”
Nash, Like Simmons, is no stranger to back injuries. During his first season with the Los Angeles Lakers, Nash was sidelined after just 10 games due to nerve irritation in the back. Although both he and Simmons have dealt with back injuries, Nash says that every situation is completely different.
“I’ve had the same issues,” Nash continued. “But they’re all really unique and different, so it’s really hard for me to kind of share my experiences with it because my back was totally different. You just never know. You never know how it responds. You feel great and turn a corner and the next week or so or it could be a longer-term thing, so we just have to be patient and see how he goes.”
Kevin Durant Sounds off on Simmons’ Return Timeline
Simmons’ new teammate Kevin Durant is no stranger to injuries either as he had an MCL sprain that held him out for nearly two months earlier this season. While Durant says that he can’t provide any advice for Simmons on how to deal with his injury, he reiterates that Simmons has the full support of him and the rest of Brooklyn’s locker room.
“I don’t have any advice for him,” Durant told reporters on Monday per NetsDaily. “He understands what he needs to do — he’s a pro. I think he just needs to know we support him, and we want him to get healthy. We don’t want him to rush, even though we want to play with him badly. We don’t want him to rush. No, I don’t have any advice outside of ‘Take your time and get right.'”
Despite Simmons having yet to suit up, the Nets have fared quite well in his absence. They have a realistic chance to avoid the play-in tournament as they sit just two games back of the sixth-place Cleveland Cavaliers.
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