NBA: Brooklyn's Simmons won't return before playoffs

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Apr 05 2022 09:03 AM

Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons (2-R) holds a ball near his teams bench area during a timeout in play during the second half of the NBA game between the Toronto Raptors and the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, USA, 28 February 2022. Jason Szenes, EPA-EFE
Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons (2-R) holds a ball near his teams bench area during a timeout in play during the second half of the NBA game between the Toronto Raptors and the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, USA, 28 February 2022. Jason Szenes, EPA-EFE

NEW YORK -- Ben Simmons will not make his Brooklyn Nets debut before the start of the NBA playoffs as he struggles to regain fitness after a back injury, coach Steve Nash said Monday.

Australian star Simmons has not played for Brooklyn since joining the club in a blockbuster trade from the Philadelphia 76ers in February.

The 25-year-old Melbourne-born point guard is battling to recover from a herniated disk in his back, which has left him unable to fully train with Brooklyn.

Nets coach Nash said Monday Simmons would miss the remainder of the regular season, which draws to a close on Sunday, and most likely next week's play-in tournament.

Nash said while Simmons had shown signs of improvement by taking part in light shooting and strengthening work, he was still far from full fitness.

"He was doing nothing on the floor. But obviously he clearly started strengthening and doing some light shooting," Nash said.

"So super positive on one hand; on the other hand, it's not like we're expecting him in the lineup in the next week."

Nash said the Nets would not risk Simmons in the playoffs unless they were certain about his fitness. Simmons has not played a game in the NBA this season.

"In this situation, we've got to put his health and safety first and make sure that we're certain he's ready to play and contribute," Nash said. 

"He hasn't played basketball, so you don't know what kind of Ben you get. And he hasn't been in an NBA game for, you know, nine to 10 months."

The Nets are 10th in the Eastern Conference and have secured a place in the play-in tournament next week where a ticket to the postseason will be on the line.

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