NBA news 2023: Ben Simmons injury nightmare gets worse with fresh back injury for Brooklyn Nets

Nets point guard Ben Simmons has been diagnosed with nerve irritation in his back and will be sidelined while he recovers.

His agent Bernie Lee told The New York Post the All-Star is essentially day-to-day.

The injury — which cropped up after Brooklyn’s November 6 game against Milwaukee — isn’t expected to require surgery or be long-term – like other back injuries have been for the Australian.

“Ben had an MRI in the last couple of days, and it’s shown us that he’s experiencing some nerve irritation issues on the lower left side of his body, which is going to cause him to miss to some time as he rehabs and builds himself back from that,” Lee told The Post.

“He’s not experiencing anything similar to what he’s gone through in the past or what he went through last year, and this is something that the expectation is that with the proper kind of rehab, he’ll be able to resume his season in a short period of time without any issue.”

After The Post broke the news, the Nets released a statement calling the injury a nerve impingement.

Hearing Simmons and “back” in the same sentence is predictably something that worries Nets fans.

He was limited to just 42 games total over the past two seasons due to back woes, and those appearances were largely ineffective.

But after Simmons required surgery on multiple herniated discs — L-4 and L-5 — on the right side of his back in May 2022, then suffered a nerve impingement that shut him down last season, this is a different scenario.

The latest nerve irritation is on the lower left portion of his back, won’t require any procedure and is not anywhere close to as severe.

“It is not what he experienced last year at all,” Lee told The Post. “No procedure required.”

Tuesday marks the fourth straight game Simmons has missed, and fifth in total this season.

And his absence hinders the Nets.

In the half-dozen games he played, Brooklyn has averaged 118.2 points — 22.8 on the fast break — and shot 40.7 per cent from behind the arc.

But in the games he sat, they got bogged down in the half-court and were far less effective, mustering just 105 points — 11.3 on the break — and hitting 33.3 per cent from deep.

The Nets desperately need him healthy.

When Lee was pressed on whether the latest injury would be something that would keep Simmons out for months, he reiterated multiple times it wouldn’t, citing caution because of the All-Star’s past history.

“No. No, it definitely should be on the shorter side of things. It’s really kind of like a day-to-day kind of evaluation situation,” Lee told The Post.

“Really what has to happen is the area has to calm down. Once it calms down, then there’s a period of kind of reactivity that’s built into things. And then it’s how his body responds to that, and getting him back into obviously game shape and all those kinds of things.

“Obviously, based on Ben’s history, there will be like a conservative kind of approach to this. And I think we all saw, the way he began the season, he started really, really well.

“He’s obviously a significant portion to the Brooklyn Nets, and he and the Nets remain on the same page to continue to work hand-in-hand to help him fulfil the requirements that the Nets have for him and help him to continue to be a really positive member of the team.”

– This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission.

Originally published as Ben Simmons’ agent: Nets star will only miss ‘short period’ with new back injury

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