Nets star Ben Simmons is dealing with nerve issue in his back
Ben Simmons’ saga with the Brooklyn Nets has taken another discouraging turn.
The Nets announced that the former All-Star guard is dealing with a nerve impingement in his back that could likely prematurely end his 2022-23 season.
Simmons hasn’t played since the Nets’ last game before the All-Star break last month. Since then, he’s missed the last 15 straight games due to a previous designation of left knee and back soreness.
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The 26-year-old is now at risk of missing the rest of the season, including the playoffs. However, head coach Jacque Vaughn has voiced that there hasn’t been any discussion about shutting him down.
“Definitely operating under that belief,” Vaughn said, when asked directly if he’s expecting Simmons to play again this season via ESPN. “There’s zero discussions about him not playing. We expect him to be back, waiting for him to be back, watching the last Sacramento game, it was great to see him and his physicality versus [Kings All-Star Domantas] Sabonis last time, so looking forward to seeing that again, for sure.”
Although the Nets are not leaning in that direction, it doesn’t mean that scenario is off the table. Before the injury, Simmons was struggling to find a consistent role within the rotation.
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Brooklyn moved him from the starting lineup to the bench in hopes of him turning his play around. Instead, his struggles continued, averaging career-worst numbers in points (6.9), assists (6.1), rebounds (6.3), and minutes (26.3)
Beyond that, Simmons is in the third year of his five-year, $177.2 million deal. All that leaves the Nets in a tough bind moving forward.