There’s been little change in Ben Simmons’ status since the team gave an update on Nov. 22. The Nets will remedy that soon.
Coach Jacque Vaughn said pregame Thursday that the Nets will have another update on him Saturday as he recovers from a nerve impingement in his lower back. Simmons has missed 11 games since being injured on Nov. 6.
Saturday is the last day of the 7-10 day window that the Nets promised they'd reveal his progress within. At the time, they said Simmons had begun light individual court work and Vaughn didn't elaborate if that's changed since last week.
“He has been included in all our meetings, film and all that stuff,” Vaughn said.
Simmons only played in 41 games last season due to a nerve impingement in another area of his back.
Royce O’Neale was ruled out Thursday with a left hip contusion just an hour before tipoff. O’Neale was added to the injury report earlier in the afternoon and was listed as questionable.
It’s the first game he’s missed this season and comes after he made a career-high six three-pointers in consecutive games.
Smith close to returning
Dennis Smith Jr. is ramping up for his return to the court, Vaughn said. He was listed as questionable Wednesday, but was ruled out Thursday afternoon as he deals with a lower back sprain.
Smith has missed six consecutive games since he was diagnosed after the Nets lost to the Heat on Nov. 16.
“He’s getting close to being back on the floor for us,” said Vaughn. “I think, overall, you always hear me say I want the athlete to be mentally and physically ready to play when he gets back on the court. Dennis is definitely still trending towards that direction, no setbacks, and hopefully we’ll see him soon."