The star of the Brooklyn Nets, Ben Simmonshas been sidelined with an irritation to the L-4 disc in his lower spine, but there is hope he can return for a “couple” of regular games before the Eastern Conference playoffs, sources told The Associated Press. ESPN on Wednesday.
There was an original goal for a Friday comeback against the Portland Trail Blazers, sources said, but that became impossible in recent weeks due to Simmons’ inability to spend more than a day or two in a row in rehab without back pain. low and reset his timeline, the sources said.
Simmons has continued to receive treatment and has worked to strengthen his back and restart his basketball activities in 1-on-0 settings on the court. He received an epidural injection in Orlando, coach Steve Nash said Wednesday in hopes it will help with his back recovery.
The Nets are hopeful that Simmons can play in regular-season games again before a postseason that likely begins in the Play-in in mid-April. The Nets play the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Indiana Pacers in their final two games of the regular season on April 8 and 10, respectively, before the start of the gate tournament that week.
For now, the Nets are 36-33 and eighth in the Eastern Conference. Teams seeded 7-10 must qualify for the Playoffs with one or two Play-in wins, depending on their seeding.
Simmons, 25, was acquired in a deal with the 76ers on Feb. 10. After demanding a trade in the offseason, he remained inactive for the Sixers until the deal he sent to james harden to Philadelphia.
Simmons is a three-time All-Star and two-time All-Defensive first-team selection. He averaged 14.9 points, 7.2 rebounds, 6.9 assists and 1.6 steals for the Sixers last season.
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Nets expect Simmons in mid-April