The Brooklyn Nets are saying all the right things about remaining hopeful Ben Simmons can play for them this season and into the postseason, but read the tea leaves and things are not nearly as optimistic.
Simmons has had flare-ups with the L-4 disc in his spine as he has ramped up workouts to return, leading to setbacks. The latest treatment was to get an epidural to reduce the swelling and pain, and allow his back to heal, but with that Steve Nash said Simmons has yet to do individual workouts on the court. From Chris Milholen at NetsDaily.com:
“He’s done some individual workouts, and then he had the flare-up. That’s a step he hasn’t got back to yet; individual on-court workouts,” Nash said.
The Nets have 11 games remaining and the play-in games are less than a month away (April 12-15). That is not a lot of time to get Simmons through ramped-up workouts, on the court, practicing, then eventually playing games with his new teammates. That time on the court is critical because Simmons will be asked to play a different role with the Nets than he did with the 76ers. They need time to build chemistry.
Nothing is set in stone, but Simmons not playing a minute with the Nets this season feels more likely than not.