Brooklyn Nets star Ben Simmons remains sidelined indefinitely due to continued knee and back soreness. On Sunday, prior to the Nets’ impressive 122-120 road win over the Denver Nuggets, head coach Jacque Vaughn offered no timeline for Simmons’ return.
“Yeah, I think first of all I’ll just be pretty simple. He’s still managing his back and knee soreness,” Vaughn said. “He’s back home in Brooklyn. We’ll get a chance to kind of see where he’s at when we get back home after this trip.”
Simmons missed five games in late January and early February due to knee soreness, and was playing reduced minutes once he returned to action. The last time he was on the court, he only got 20 minutes off the bench against the Miami Heat on Feb. 15. Prior to the All-Star break, he had fluid drained from his knee and received a PRP (platelet-rich plasma) injection, but neither procedure completely solved the problem and he has not played since.
“It’s frustrating,” Simmons said on Feb. 24. “But it’s something that’s an injury I’ve never dealt with before. So it’s something I’m learning about, that we’re learning about.
“I didn’t have a normal All-Star [break]. I was rehabbing the whole time still, after the PRP. So my break was just rehabbing and it was trying to get back out there. And then obviously, we played 5-on-5 three days ago, four days ago, which was good. But [I] wasn’t moving, I didn’t move and didn’t have that strength.”
In the course of rehabbing from his knee problem, Simmons also developed back soreness. He underwent an MRI on March 6 which revealed inflammation and added another hurdle for him to overcome in order to get back on the floor.
“We want Ben back when he’s capable of being back for us,” Vaughn said at the time. “The day-to-day thing, that’s just for me to say some term to you guys. When the back gets better, and when the knee gets better, then he’ll be with us.”
While Vaughn and the Nets have been vague about Simmons’ status and refuse to rule him out for the remainder of the season, he’s quickly running out of time to return. The Nets only have 14 games remaining on their regular season schedule, which concludes on April 9 against the Philadelphia 76ers.
And based on the way the team has been performing lately, it’s not as if they desperately need Simmons in the lineup. Their big win over the Nuggets was their fifth in the last six games, and pushed them back into the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference. With a 3.5-game lead over the seventh-place Miami Heat, the Nets are likely going to secure a top-six seed and an automatic playoff spot.
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Publish Date:2023-03-13 22:29:53