Jacque Vaughn says Ben Simmons' season is over
MIAMI — Ben Simmons is done for the season.
Nets coach Jacque Vaughn confirmed on Thursday that Simmons’ lingering back injury is going to keep him from rejoining the team any time soon.
“He’s not going to join us for the rest of the year, in all honesty,” Vaughn said before the Nets played the Heat at Miami-Dade Arena Saturday.
Simmons was diagnosed with a nerve impingement in his back when he was evaluated by doctors on Friday. Vaughn said Simmons is now going to meet with specialists who will determine his course of treatment.
The only All-Star on the Nets roster, Simmons underwent surgery on his back in the offseason. At the start of the season, Simmons said he had a nerve injury that would take “18 months to fully heal.”
Plagued by a combination of knee and back injuries, Simmons played in 42 games this season, averaging career lows of 6.3 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 6.9 points.
Simmons last played for the Nets on Feb. 15, the game before the All-Star break. He has his left knee drained and received plasma rich injections shortly before the break. Saturday night’s game was his 16th straight miss.
Vaughn had held out hope for Simmons' return, saying earlier this week that there had been no talk of shutting Simmons down for the rest of the season. Simmons had been doing some individual workouts on the court before the latest problem flared up. Ben was going through the process of strengthening and being re-evaluated. During one of those re-evaluations, the impingement presented itself.
“Right now, he’s really under the care of consulting specialists to see what the next step is going to be going forward,” Vaughn said. “For me as a coach, there’s some things I can control and some things I can’t control. What I can’t control is the impingement. What I can control is getting this group ready to play.”