Ben Simmons has not played for the Brooklyn Nets since before the All-Star break, and it sure seems like he’s not going to take the floor again this season. According to Nets coach Jacque Vaughn ahead of the team’s game against the Miami Heat on Saturday night, Simmons is unlikely to return to the team for the duration of the 2022-23 season as he deals with a nerve impingement in his back.
“For me as a coach, there’s some things that I can control, some things that I can’t control,” Vaughn said, per Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press. “What I can’t control is the impingement. What I can control is getting this group ready to play. And then in all honesty, the realism that he’s probably not going to join us for the rest of the year … certainty will come once he continues to be looked at by specialists.”
The Nets announced that Simmons had a nerve impingement on Friday. He’s missed all 16 games the team has played in the second half of the year, and after Saturday’s game against Miami, Brooklyn will only have eight more games left in the regular season.
When he has played this year, Simmons has struggled to find the All-Star form from earlier in his career. The former No. 1 overall pick has averaged 6.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 1.3 steals in 26.3 minutes per game this season.