Brooklyn Nets star Ben Simmons has a herniated disc in his back; the return deadline is not yet clear

NEW YORK — Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons has a herniated disc in his back, coach Steve Nash said ahead of Monday’s game against the Utah Jazz.

Nash remains optimistic that Simmons will play at some point this season, but with just 11 regular season games remaining, the organization is running out of time for the former All-Star to make his season debut. Simmons had an epidural last week to relieve some pressure on her back.

“He had that a few years ago, so he had [herniated disks] throughout his career at times,” Nash said. “And I guess there was a push. I don’t know when they recognized it was beyond a back thrust and a herniated disc or whatever, but somewhere along the line there that was the reason for the epidural .”

Nash said that at this point the possibility of surgery has not been discussed, but Simmons has not yet been cleared to practice since being acquired from the Philadelphia 76ers just before the game. trade deadline last month. Simmons, who hasn’t played this year – while awaiting a trade from the Sixers – started experiencing back pain in the last week of February, according to Nash.

“From what I know, he trained pretty hard for five, six months,” Nash said. “He was in a great place. Unfortunately I think there was a little push at one point and it’s never really turned the corner since. I think he’s had five, six months days a week on the pitch and it’s been going really well, so it’s just a shame, but we’re staying the course. And hopefully a good resolution to that in the near future.”

Nash said last week that Simmons had an MRI on his back so the organization could determine what was causing the discomfort.

“I had the same issues,” Nash said. “But they’re all really unique and different, so it’s really hard for me to share my experiences with it because my back was totally different. You never know. You never know how it reacts. It feels good and we turn a corner and next week, or it could be a longer term thing, so we just have to be patient and see how he goes.”

Simmons’ new teammates say the 25-year-old remains in good spirits as he tries to get back to the ground.

“I have no advice for him,” Kevin Durant said after Monday’s shooting. “He understands what he needs to do – he’s a pro. I think he just needs to know that we have our backs and want him back to health. We don’t want him to rush , even if we want to play with him. We don’t want him to rush. No, I don’t have any advice other than “Take your time and make the right choice”.

Nash said the Nets would “incorporate him anytime,” whenever Simmons was ready to play again.

“I don’t think that necessarily changes the outcome,” Nash said of the recent revelation about Simmons’ status. “We still have high hopes that he can come back. He’s had times during his rehab where he’s on the pitch doing certain things and it looks like he’s about to turn a corner, then there’s a little setback. So I’m still optimistic that he can play for us.”

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