Nets' Ben Simmons out Through Play-In Tournament with Back Injury, per Steve Nash

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIApril 4, 2022

Brooklyn Nets' Ben Simmons watches practice before an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Thursday, March 10, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
AP Photo/Matt Slocum

Brooklyn Nets point guard Ben Simmons will miss at least the rest of the regular season and the play-in tournament while recovering from his back injury, head coach Steve Nash told reporters Monday.

Simmons has yet to play for the Nets since the Philadelphia 76ers traded him to Brooklyn in a blockbuster deal that sent James Harden the other way.

Specifically, a herniated disc has kept him out of the lineup. Head coach Steve Nash told reporters March 21 that Simmons received an epidural:

Alex Schiffer @Alex__Schiffer

Steve Nash said Ben Simmons got the epidural for the herniated disc <a href="https://twitter.com/ShamsCharania?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ShamsCharania</a> reported on this morning. Said he had it a few years ago in Philly, but isn't sure when the Nets staff recognized it had returned.

Joe Vardon of The Athletic provided an update on April 1.

"Ben Simmons is not close to playing for the Nets," Vardon wrote.

"He is not likely to be ready for the start of the playoffs, I was told Thursday, as he’s still trying to recover from a recurring back injury that required an injection last month."

Simmons, 25, averaged 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds, 7.7 assists and 1.7 steals per game during his four seasons on the court in Philadelphia. He's a three-time All-Star who also earned 2017-18 Rookie of the Year honors.

Simmons did not play for Philadelphia this season after making an offseason trade request. He held out of training camp but briefly returned for preseason practices. However, he soon left the team again, informing the Philadelphia front office that he was not "mentally ready" to play.

Without Simmons, the Nets have turned to a starting backcourt of Kyrie Irving and Seth Curry, with Goran Dragic and Patty Mills picking up guard minutes off the bench.

Whenever Simmons enters the lineup, he figures to slide into the point alongside Irving, who would move toward a shooting guard-type role with Curry coming off the bench.