Nets center Nic Claxton, forward Cameron Johnson and guard Ben...

Nets center Nic Claxton, forward Cameron Johnson and guard Ben Simmons look on from the bench in the first half of an NBA game against the Celtics at Barclays Center on Nov. 4. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Nets coach Jacque Vaughn said on Saturday the plan for Ben Simmons is to rest on the second night of back-to-back for injury maintenance on his back. Simmons confirmed that plan Monday pregame while also reiterating he feels fine without any setbacks.

“I don't even know. That's gonna be on them. I believe so,” Simmons said before the Nets hosted the Milwaukee Bucks. “Me, I feel good. I feel ready. I think they're just being smart about it. So yeah."

The Nets appear to be erring on the side of caution with Simmons, who didn’t play in Saturday’s loss to the Celtics. Vaughn cited Simmons’ back injury history as part of his recovery process.

Simmons, who only played 42 games last season, entered Monday averaging 31.8 minutes per game this season while leading the Nets in rebounds (10.0) and assists (7.2) per game. He played 23 minutes in the season opener but played between 32-35 minutes in the next four games.

Vaughn said Saturday was a date circled after discussions with Simmons and the performance team. Simmons declined to say when those talks were had or when he thinks he’ll attempt to play both nights of a back-to-back.

“You have to ask them,” he said.

The Nets have 12 more back-to-back games this season. They next one is on Nov. 25-26, featuring home games against Miami and Chicago.

Claxton health update

Vaughn also added a bit more clarity on Nic Claxton’s progress after he said he had a high ankle sprain Saturday.

Claxton is still limited on the court and day to day. Timetables to return, however, can vary from person to person. Lakers forward LeBron James suffered a similar injury in March 2021 and he missed 21 games over a month.

Vaughn declined to specify how soon Claxton could return except that it doesn’t appear to be in the immediate future.

“I'll wait, and I'll sit back, and when Nic is ready mentally, and physically capable, and ready to perform, then he'll be back on the court,” Vaughn said. “I'll never pressure an athlete to get back out there."

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