With only 14 games left in the regular season for the Brooklyn Nets, All-Star point guard Ben Simmons’ return remains highly doubtful.
Medical experts’ recent evaluations on Simmons’ return timeline from chronic back issues forecast that Simmons is likely to remain out until next season.
Speaking with the New York Post, Dr. Rahul Shah broke down Simmons’ recovery status and detailed why his lack of progress thus far has been a bad omen for the remainder of the 2021-22 season.
The doc was blunt about a potential return.
“I don’t think that’s happening. I think the odds are against it,” Dr. Shah stated. “Think about it this way: the longer he’s been out, the longer he’s likely to stay out. Until you fundamentally change the underlying problem.”
“I don’t think that you have anything to say that he will, convincingly. He’s got to do the running in the sprinting before he can do one-on-one or five-on-five.”
Simmons has not played since June 20, 2021: back when he was on the Philadelphia 76ers.
The Nets essentially traded former Nets point guard James Harden to Philadelphia for the ailing Simmons.
Now that Harden’s gone, Simmons’ return to fill the void remains vital for the team’s postseason prospects.
Simmons’ return in NY is greatly anticipated as Brooklyn sits in the East’s eighth slot, behind the Toronto Raptors, and with Kyrie Irving indefinitely sidelined for home games.
“What do I think is going to happen? The season ends, media goes quiet, he takes care of whatever he needs to,” Dr. Shah predicted. “And then he’s rehabbing, and he’s coming back … That might be a shot, and most likely, it’ll be a procedure following the shot.”
Nets coach Steve Nash described Simmons’ lack of participation in practice as merely “getting back into the swing of things.”
“He’s just doing his rehab, strengthening. We’re still doing that side of things rather than court work right now,” said Nash.
Through 68 games, the Nets are 35-33; going 6-7 since the Feb. 10 trade deadline.
Nets general manager Sean Marks and the team wait with fingers crossed on a miraculous comeback by Simmons.