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Ben Simmons to make his season debut for the Nets

After missing nearly a year of action as he worked his way back into playing shape, Ben Simmons is reportedly preparing to make his long-awaited return in the coming days.

The three-time All-Star is planning to make his season debut when the Nets host the Celtics for Game 4 of their first-round series Monday night, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania. The former 76er has not played since last June due to physical and mental health concerns.

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Simmons, who has carefully spent the last couple of months rehabbing a back injury, should be cleared in time to play, as long as his rehab “remains on course,” Charania noted.

The Athletic previously reported Simmons was targeting a return within Games 4 to 6; the likelihood of an in-series debut increased Tuesday when Nets coach Steve Nash announced the 25-year-old had been cleared for contact.

Should Simmons join the lineup by Monday, the outlook of the Nets’ season could be in drastically different places depending on the outcome of Saturday’s Game 3. Brooklyn is currently trailing Boston 2–0 in the series, losing by a combined eight points in those meetings.

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