MRI reveals Nets’ Ben Simmons has back inflammation
The latest update to Ben Simmons’ ongoing recovery doesn’t hold any more promise for the Nets.
Head coach Jack Vaughn said Sunday that Simmons underwent an MRI exam that revealed back inflammation.
The guard — who hasn’t played since the All-Star break and saw his minutes dip before the break — remains day-to-day, but there’s no concrete timetable for his return.
“We want Ben back when he’s able to come back for us,” Vaughn said before the Nets’ 102-86 win against the Hornets on Sunday. “As for day-to-day, it is only for me to say a few words to you.
“When the back heals, and when the knee heals, he’ll be with us.”
While Vaughan added that he wants that moment to come as soon as possible, he also admitted that the 26-year-old needs to take care of himself and make sure that he recovers from two lingering injuries. .
Vaughn reiterated Friday that the team has no plans — and has had “zero” conversations — to shut down Simmons for the season.
Simmons’ latest rash of injuries began with a strained left knee.
A strengthening program that began after the All-Star break didn’t immediately help, and that’s also when he started showing up on the injury report for a variety of reasons as back pain began to develop.
The most recent six-game absence, bringing his season-long total to 22, has prevented Simmons from returning to the lineup and trying to improve on his 2022-23 numbers of 6.9 per game. Points and 6.1 assists have come in – both of them. career-low
“We’re getting a little bit day by day, but that’s what we’re managing with trying to strengthen that knee,” Vaughn said.
Cam Johnson left the game briefly in the second quarter after taking a knock to the face and dealing with a bloody nose.
Trainers went outside to check on him, and he attempted both free throws — resulting in a foul call that would be upgraded to a flagrant — before walking down the tunnel to the Nets’ locker room.
However, he bounced back, and said after the game that he was fine.
“Tough,” Vaughn said. “A little blood. Wipe it off, and get back out there. is lovely is cute.”
Charlotte’s 86 points are tied for second-most the Nets have allowed this season. They limited Washington to 86 on Nov. 4, and five days later, Brooklyn limited the Knicks to 85.
The Nets’ five turnovers on Sunday tied for their fewest in a game this season, with the Feb. 1 game against Boston.
Yuta Watanabe, who was listed as questionable for Sunday’s game with back pain, played six minutes.
Simmons and Edmund Sumner were two net unavailable.