The Brooklyn Nets landed three-time All-Star Ben Simmons in a blockbuster trade that sent Paul Millsap and All-Star guard James Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers on February 10. Simmons did not play for the Nets during the regular season or the playoffs after suffering a herniated disc in his back after his Brooklyn Arrival. The Nets have now officially been eliminated from the playoffs courtesy of a 4-0 sweep at the hands of the Boston Celtics. As a result, Brooklyn’s focus has shifted from trying to win a title, to being fully healthy coming into training camp.
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Ben Simmons To Have Offseason Back Surgery
The injured back of Simmons has pushed back the date of his highly-anticipated Nets debut. Now that Brooklyn is out of the playoffs, there is no pressure to rush the All-Star forward’s return. ESPN Insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported on May 4 that Simmons is scheduled to have surgery on the herniated disc in his back. It is a procedure that will hold him out of competition for several months.
“Brooklyn Nets swingman Ben Simmons will require three to four months of rehabilitation after undergoing back surgery on Thursday, but is expected to be fully recovered to return to the court well ahead of preseason training camp in September, sources told ESPN on Wednesday,” Wojnarowski writes per ESPN.
“Simmons, 25, is undergoing a microdiscectomy procedure to address pain located in a herniated disk in his lower back, the Nets said Wednesday in a release. The decision to undergo the surgery was reached after “consultation with multiple back specialists.”
Simmons Planned To Play in Game 4 vs. Celtics
Though Simmons never played for the Nets this year, at points this season, it looked promising that his debut would eventually happen. Wojnarowski reports that Simmons planned to return in Game 4 of the Nets’ first-round series with the Boston Celtics, but ultimately had a change of heart after he began to feel pain in his back the night before the game.
“Despite several attempts that ultimately resulted in setbacks, Simmons never played a game for the Nets following a Feb. 10 trade with the Philadelphia 76ers. Simmons had planned to return for Game 4 of the Nets’ Eastern Conference first-round series against the Boston Celtics, but a week-plus of pain-free days ended with pain soreness on the eve of Brooklyn’s elimination,” Wojnarowski continued.
“Simmons and his agent, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul, met with Nets general manager Sean Marks and team officials the following day, agreeing to continue to work together on Simmons’ physical and mental well-being in the ultimate effort to try and return him to the court next season.”
Another important detail that Wojnarowski notes is that even though Simmons is set to have a corrective procedure on his back, it will limit his ultimate return to the court, which the Nets are hopeful will be sometime next season. He has not played in an NBA game since the Sixers were eliminated by the Atlanta Hawks in the 2021 playoffs last June. It will be interesting to see if Simmons can return as the caliber of the All-Star forward that the Nets traded for in February.