After jogging and shooting without back pain for over a week, the Brooklyn Nets star Ben Simmons He is expected to take the next step on the ground next week and begin training against his teammates on the field, sources told ESPN Saturday.
His continued progress bolsters hope that Simmons can make his season debut sometime later in the opening round of the playoff series in Brooklyn against the Boston Celtics, sources said. The Nets and Celtics meet in Game One on Sunday in Boston.
So far, the Simmons have been limited to 1-on-0 drills, but that’s about to change and the Nets remain hopeful of getting something out of Simmons in the series, even if it’s only 10 to 15 minutes into the game, sources said.
Simmons had an epidural in mid-March to subdue the pain and irritation associated with a herniated disc in his lower back.
The Nets acquired Simmons in a massive deal with the Philadelphia 76ers at the February trading deadline, but he has yet to play an NBA game since the Eastern Conference Finals in June. Simmons wanted to trade outside of Philadelphia, and ultimately did not cite his mental health.
Simmons, 25, is a three-time All-Star pick and a two-time defensive first team.