Ben Simmons of the Nets dribbling the ball against the...

Ben Simmons of the Nets dribbling the ball against the Milwaukee Bucks at Barclays Center on Monday, Nov. 6, 2023. Credit: Errol Anderson

It seemed the Nets had promising injury news with Cam Johnson upgraded to doubtful before being ruled out Wednesday. But two hours before tipoff against the Clippers, Ben Simmons was also ruled out.

Simmons was diagnosed with left hip soreness. He played 33 minutes Monday against the Bucks, including 19 of 24 minutes in the second half, after not playing in Saturday’s loss to the Celtics due to injury maintenance.

Coach Jacque Vaughn said pregame Simmons filled the team in this morning when he arrived at the Nets’ facility. He believes the pain stemmed from a play Monday where Spencer Dinwiddie threw a pass that Simmons caught awkwardly and it affected him going up for a shot.

Vaughn didn’t say if Simmons, the Nets' leader in rebounds and assists, would be out Friday when the Nets visit the Celtics.

“It’s going to be just really how he responds,” Vaughn said. “He'll get treatment tonight. We get the day in between Boston, he'll get treatment tomorrow and I'll touch base with him to see how he's feeling.”

As for Johnson, he and Nic Claxton practiced with the Long Island Nets Wednesday. Vaughn, who attended practice, said they also scrimmaged briefly near the end.

Although Johnson’s status was upgraded, Vaughn said there’s no timeline on when he or Claxton will be back except that Johnson was closer to returning.

There also isn’t a set number of practices both have to complete for Vaughn to approve them. He’ll let them return to competition when they feel fit and ready. For now, the practices are just a step closer to that phase.

“Just expose them to a different atmosphere of playing and scrimmaging,” Vaughn said of the team’s strategy ramping them up. "You don't get that opportunity a bunch throughout the course of the year, and both made it through it."

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