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#pounditSaturday, April 13, 2024

Nets coach makes troubling comments about Ben Simmons’ latest injury

Ben Simmons with a shirt on

Jan 30, 2020; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (25) talks to fans before a game against the Atlanta Hawks at State Farm Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Simmons has not played in more than a month as he deals with soreness in his back and knee, and it is sounding doubtful that the Brooklyn Nets star will suit up at any point down the stretch.

Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn told reporters on Thursday that Simmons has not “made any significant improvement or taken any notable steps in the past week.” Any work that Simmons has done toward a potential return has been on an individual basis and not with the team, according to Vaughn.

“Ben is in the same position he was the last time I talked to you, nothing further to comment on,” Vaughn said, per Brian Lewis of the New York Post. “I don’t think I can give you anything else. There’s been no … there’s been no nothing to add, really.”

The Nets have just nine games remaining in their regular season following a 116-114 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday. They are currently the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference, which means they would be in the play-in tournament if the season ended now. Brooklyn is a half-game behind the No. 6-seed Miami Heat.

Simmons has played in only five games since the start of January and three since the Nets traded Kevin Durant. His latest injury situation sounds eerily similar to what happened last year, when Simmons dealt with back issues while ramping up for game activity after the Nets acquired him via trade. What was initially supposed to be a minor setback ended up costing him the rest of the season and led him to undergo postseason surgery. It also sparked suggestions that a mental block may have contributed to the situation.

Simmons has averaged 6.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 6.1 assists per game in 42 games. He is still owed another $78 million over the next two seasons.

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