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Report: Ben Simmons experiences flare up in back, ‘hope and optimism’ he returns before the playoffs

The All-Star guard’s 2021-22 debut continues to be delayed.

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at New York Knicks Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons has yet to play a game this season. While his move from Philadelphia to Brooklyn was expected to accelerate his return to the floor, no debut seems imminent.

Shams Charania of The Athletic reported this weekend that Simmons is “dealing with back soreness in reconditioning process that requires further strengthening of the area over a period of time before return to action.”

Charania further clarified this report when he appeared on the Pat McAfee Show Monday.

“The Nets are saying that it’s something to be expected and something we’re just gonna treat day-to-day,” Charania said. “But there was an expectation that, by now, he was gonna be really on the cusp of his comeback.

“That’s probably not gonna be the case because he had a flare up with his back, I’m told, during his ramp-up process.”

Charania underscored the ambiguity, complexity and severity of back issues. He referenced the fact that Draymond Green has missed nearly two months with his own back injury and is just now doing some 5-on-0 scrimmaging.

“The back is tricky,” Charania said. “So, Ben Simmons, it could take him a few weeks. It could take him a week. It could take him — you never know with the back.

“I think there is hope and optimism that at some point, before the regular season is out, that he’s gonna be back on the floor. But in the meantime, he’s gonna have to rehab that back.”