Brooklyn Nets forward Ben Simmons has been navigating a challenging path to recovery with his lower back nerve issue, which has now extended beyond a month. In a recent update, the team announced that Simmons received an epidural injection as part of his treatment.
This development was shared by coach Jacque Vaughn in a press conference before the Nets' game against the Orlando Magic at Barclays Center. Vaughn clarified that the epidural, administered earlier in the week, is a step towards Simmons' return to the court, emphasizing that there have been no setbacks in his recovery process.
"Right now, he is still doing low-level stuff on the court. So no rebounding drills, no sprinting up the floor. Then, in two weeks, you'll continue to strengthen it and we'll have something hopefully for you then," Vaughn stated.
This careful approach underlines the sensitivity and complexity of Simmons' condition, as he has not engaged in high-intensity activities or practiced with other players.
A History of Back Issues
Simmons' struggles with back problems are not new.
He first sustained a back injury in 2020 while playing for the Philadelphia 76ers. This injury was significant enough to sideline him for the entire 2021-22 season, a period during which he was traded to the Nets. His back issues were a key factor in this trade decision, and he ultimately underwent surgery in the summer of 2022.
Since his return, Simmons played 42 games last season before being shut down in March due to a different nerve impingement. In the current season, he has played six games, averaging career-low stats of 6.5 points, but achieving a career-high of 10.8 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game.
His role as the team's point guard and primary playmaker has been significant, but his ongoing health issues have limited his on-court contributions. As Simmons continues his recovery, the Brooklyn Nets and their fans are hopeful for his full return to the game. His journey underscores the challenges athletes face in balancing recovery with the demands of professional sports.