Brooklyn Nets guards Ben Simmons, background, and Patty Mills against...

Brooklyn Nets guards Ben Simmons, background, and Patty Mills against the Atlanta Hawks at Barclays Center on March 31, 2023. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

For Patty Mills, Saturday was the start of a busy summer. He and the Nets helped unveil a mural dedicated to the indigenous community of Sunset Park, not too far from the team’s practice facility.

The mural also was personal for Mills, who is of Aboriginal descent and has been outspoken about his own indigenous roots. Soon he’ll start training to play with Australia in the FIBA World Cup in August, which means he’s kept a close eye on teammate Ben Simmons’ recovery.

Simmons missed the final two months of the Nets’ season because of a back injury, but he often has posted pictures of his workouts on Instagram, hinting that he’s regaining his form.

“From all accords and what I’ve heard, he’s looking after his body and getting [healthy and into the shape] that I think everyone wants and needs him to be,” Mills said. “So I think first and foremost for him, it’s just about getting to that part where he can be Ben again, and obviously a full offseason of healthy rehab, healthy workouts both in the gym and on the court is what he’s looking at.”

Simmons was limited to 42 games last season and last played on Feb. 15. Australia coach Brian Goorjian told reporters in May that while Simmons wasn’t named to the initial 18-man roster, there’s a spot available for him if he’s healthy.

Nets general manager Sean Marks said in April that Simmons won’t need another surgery for his back, which also affected him when he was out for the entire 2021-22 season. It gave Marks hope that he will be healthy by training camp.

“The timeline for this is that he’ll be back 100% probably by Sept. 1,” Marks said. “That would be the goal.”

That date overlaps with the World Cup being held from Aug. 25-Sept. 10. Much can change in two months, but as Simmons progresses, Mills is optimistic that his recovery is headed in the right direction.

“From what I’ve heard, he’s looking good, feeling good, and we’ll see how we roll out from then,’’ Mills said. “Until then, we just got to wait and see.”

More Brooklyn Nets

Newsday LogoSUBSCRIBEUnlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months
ACT NOWSALE ENDS SOON | CANCEL ANYTIME