Ben Simmons Rumors: Nets Star, GM Discussed 'Physical and Mental Hurdles' to ReturnApril 25, 2022
It remains unclear when Ben Simmons will be able to take the court for the Brooklyn Nets, but he reportedly took a step toward figuring things out on Monday.
According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Simmons and his agent Rich Paul met with Nets general manager Sean Marks and team leadership to "discuss how they’ll continue to work through the physical and mental hurdles" for Simmons to play again.
Simmons was ruled out of Monday's Game 4 against the Boston Celtics as he continues to rehab his back injury. He reportedly had been targeting the contest for his return, but Wojnarowski reported on Sunday that Simmons "awoke with back soreness" and it was decided that he will sit out. The Nets are down 3-0 and face the possibility of being swept on their home floor.
Brooklyn acquired Simmons in February as part of the blockbuster deal that sent James Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers. Simmons had requested to be traded from Philadelphia at the beginning of the year, but it took months for a deal to materialize. He then took time away from the Sixers, citing a need to address his mental health. In all, Simmons hasn't played in an NBA game since last June when Philadelphia was eliminated from the playoffs.
Simmons has faced criticism for his time away from the court. Wojnarowski reiterated that while Simmons does have a desire to play for the Nets, more issues need to be addressed beyond his injury rehabilitation.
"Both groups believe Simmons had two good weeks of physical ramp-up through Sunday, but ultimately realized there are still mental and physical hurdles that need addressing," Wojnarowski wrote.
The Nets reportedly believe that Simmons has been working through his mental and physical obstacles, but Wojnarowski added that both sides "recognize there’s more work to do."
Whether Brooklyn's season comes to an end on Monday or later in the postseason, it's looking more and more unlikely that Simmons will play this year.