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May 05, 2022

Ben Simmons, Nets opt for back surgery

The former Sixer is looking at nearly 16 months since he has last played

Sixers NBA
Ben-Simmons-Sideline-Nets.jpg Vincent Carchietta/USA TODAY Sports

Ben Simmons' return to the court will have to wait until next season.

Ben Simmons underwent back surgery on Thursday to relieve pain caused by a herniated disk, and the Brooklyn Nets expect him to be ready for training camp in September, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Nets said in a statement that the decision to go for surgery was made "after consultation with multiple back specialists" and they will have further updates following the procedure.

The 25-year old point guard was moved by the Sixers back in February in the blockbuster deal for James Harden, this after a months-long holdout by Simmons citing his mental preparation to play not being where it needed to.

Simmons, however, had also fallen out of favor with the Sixers, and its fans, long before. The three-time All-Star had a years-long refusal to adopt a jump shot, which came to a head in Game 7 of last season's second round when he passed out of a go-ahead dunk late. 

He hasn't played since.

Since the trade, the Nets had multiple return dates in mind to get Simmons back on the court. All of them fell through.

The last deadline was Game 4 of Brooklyn's first-round series against the Boston Celtics, despite the team being in 3-0 hole and facing a sweep.

Simmons was reportedly on track...until he wasn't. Sitting out again, and leaving the Nets and much of the basketball world at a loss

By the time the 2022-23 season rolls around, the former first overall pick will not have played in nearly 16 months. 

The Sixers, meanwhile — without MVP candidate Joel Embiid — will try to climb themselves out of a 2-0 hole against the Miami Heat when Game 3 tips off Friday night at the Wells Fargo Center. 

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