Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons is reportedly taking the next step in his recovery from back surgery.
According to Brian Lewis of the New York Post, Simmons "has begun the rehab phase and is right on schedule to be ready well before training camp."
Simmons underwent successful microdiscectomy surgery to address pain from a herniated disk in his lower back on May 5 in Los Angeles. It was expected that he'd be able to begin rehabbing within three weeks, with hopes of making a full return to the court in three to four months.
A three-time All-Star, Simmons sat out the entire 2021-22 season. The Nets acquired him from the Philadelphia 76ers as part of a blockbuster deal that included James Harden at the Feb. 10 trade deadline.
There were multiple attempts to get Simmons back in the Nets lineup. His back issues first arose during a ramp-up period before he even got a chance to practice with the team. His last chance came in Game 4 of Brooklyn's first-round playoff series against the Boston Celtics, but he experienced soreness the day before the game and was ruled out.
The Nets wound up getting swept by the Celtics, putting an end to a disappointing season that was defined by injuries and inconsistencies.
After Brooklyn's season came to an end, Simmons and his agent Rich Paul of Klutch Sports met with Brooklyn general manager Sean Marks to address "physical and mental hurdles" that the 25-year-old will have to work through in order to play again, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Nets surely hope Simmons will return to form as the playmaker and star defender he once was. Simmons still has three years and $114 million remaining on his contract.