Nets' Ben Simmons Says Surgery on Back Injury 'Went Well' in IG Photo

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVMay 5, 2022

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 17: Ben Simmons #10 of the Brooklyn Nets looks on from the bench during the first quarter of Round 1 Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Eastern Conference Playoffs at TD Garden on April 17, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons took a step toward returning to the court Thursday.

He posted a picture on Instagram with the caption, "Surgery went well thank you for the well wishes."

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Ben Simmons post-surgery update ✌️ <a href="https://t.co/oBasYq97mX">pic.twitter.com/oBasYq97mX</a>

The Nets announced he "underwent successful microdiscectomy surgery" Thursday and is "expected to make a full recovery prior to the start of next season's training camp."

Simmons has not played a game since June 2021 when he was a member of the Philadelphia 76ers.

That appearance came in a Game 7 loss to the Atlanta Hawks in the second round of the playoffs, and he drew plenty of criticism for his lack of aggression on the offensive end and decision to pass up what seemed to be a wide-open dunk in crunch time.

The playoff loss led to an offseason of trade rumors and questions about whether he would even play for the 76ers in 2021-22.

He ultimately didn't suit up for the team that selected him with the No. 1 pick of the 2016 draft, and Philadelphia traded him to the Nets as part of the deal that brought James Harden to the 76ers.

Despite speculation that Simmons would return for part of Brooklyn's first-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics, he never did take the court during the campaign. The Nets were swept out of the playoffs by the Celtics, and Simmons has now undergone back surgery and has an eye on 2022-23.

While there are valid concerns about his outside shooting and overall offensive ability, the LSU product is still a three-time All-Star and two-time All-Defensive selection who is one of the league's best perimeter defenders when healthy.

In theory, he can take the pressure off Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving on that end of the floor next season.