Ben Simmons of the Nets dribbles the ball during a game...

Ben Simmons of the Nets dribbles the ball during a game against the Bucks at Barclays Center on Nov. 6. Credit: Errol Anderson

Ben Simmons’ hip contusion will keep the Nets guard out for at least one more week as the Nets announced Tuesday that he suffered a nerve impingement on the lower left side of his back.
In a statement, the team said Simmons, who has missed the last three games, had an MRI because of lingering discomfort, which revealed the nerve issue. The impingement is on a different side of the body than the impingement Simmons had last season that limited him to 42 games.
Simmons will miss the Nets’ next three games, including Tuesday hosting the Magic.
Coach Jacque Vaughn said pregame that Simmons seemed to be improving and the MRI was done out of caution. But when the impingement was revealed, it meant Simmons would miss additional time. The Nets will re-evaluate him in one week.
“No athlete wants to be hurt,” Vaughn said. “This is not something he has asked for, not something that he wants. We were trying at the time to really get our group whole and healthy and form an identity together; and he's a part of that identity."
Simmons was injured on Nov. 6 against the Bucks after receiving a pass that led to him going up awkwardly for a shot. He finished the game and Vaughn said he didn’t notice anything else besides the initial play that indicated Simmons was in pain.
Vaughn added Simmons showed no sign of any pain issues before that play.
The setback further slows a promising start for Simmons after playing in six of the Nets’ first seven games. He leads the team in rebounding (10.8) and assists (6.7) while also sparking their up-tempo offense.
The Nets averaged 22.8 fast break points in games Simmons played — which would lead the NBA — and just 11.3 in games he missed, a total that would be fifth-worst in the league.
Simmons has dealt with back issues since February 2020 and it contributed to him missing the entire 2021-22 season. He had back surgery in May 2022 to repair a herniated disc but was limited the following season in his ability to run and jump.
Simmons has missed four games so far, including one for injury maintenance on Nov. 4. At the time, he said he was fine and deferred any questions about his future availability for both games of a back-to-back to the coaching staff.
Two nights later, Simmons played 33 minutes against the Bucks and had 15 rebounds.
"I always take the positive route and look at it as this is just a bump that is in his road right now that happened. Not like he wanted it to happen. He was playing, playing well, and this happened. Everybody's body is different and this is kind of what he's dealing with," Vaughn said.

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