The Nets’ 2021-22 season ended in a swift first-round exit, while Ben Simmons was never able to make his debut for his new team. There were ongoing periods of ramping up as Simmons worked towards getting himself ready physically and mentally, but he experienced some setbacks with his back and couldn’t make a return before the Celtics eliminated the Nets in a sweep.
We’ve now received a major update to clarify the status of Simmons and what lies next for him this offseason, as the Nets announced on Wednesday that he’ll be undergoing surgery on Thursday (May 5).
“After consultation with multiple back specialists, it has been determined that the best course of action for Ben’s long-term health is for him to undergo surgery,” the Nets said in a statement. “The microdiscectomy procedure, scheduled for Thursday, is designed to alleviate pain caused by the herniated disc in Ben’s back.”
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski noted in a report that Simmons’ expected timeline to recover and rehab is three to four months. Wojnarowski also added that Simmons “is expected to be fully recovered to return to the court well ahead of preseason training camp in September.”
Just a week and a half ago, reports started circulating that Simmons could return in Game 3 or 4 against the Celtics. Now, with Simmons needing to have surgery, it’s even more puzzling why there were ever leaks that he was aiming to return in a tough playoff series, a game or two away from elimination, after not playing basketball for a year. It only set up fans for disappointment, while the various delays that followed led to a wave of criticism for Simmons over why he wasn’t returning to play.
Hopefully for Simmons and the Nets, he’s able to have a successful recovery after surgery and get back into strong playing shape for the 2022-23 season.