Ben Simmons slowly making progress in recovery from back issues

Ben Simmons
Brooklyn Nets injured guard Ben Simmons (10) watches from the bench during the fourth quarter against the Utah Jazz at Barclays Center.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Nets have remained optimistic that they’d see Ben Simmons back on the court this season, and it appears there may be some progress on that front.

Simmons joined the Nets for their trip to Miami over the weekend and YES Network’s Michael Grady reported that there had been some small progress made for the 25-year-old.

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“A positive sign seeing him on this trip,” Grady reported during the broadcast of the Nets win over Miami. “Its our understanding that he had pain in his lower back going down his legs. and that since has dissipated and the pain is now localized to his lower back, So no pain in his legs anymore. That’s a positive sign highlighted by the fact that he even made this trip. The Nets were keeping him off planes for a while.”

The YES Network report noted that Simmons had still not been doing any “court work.” The Nets generally require a player to go through three high-intensity workouts before they clear them to return to action.

Simmons, who was acquired from the Philadelphia 76ers on Feb. 10, hadn’t flown with the team since the Nets’ trip to Milwaukee on Feb. 26. His reconditioning has been hindered by ongoing back issues that have thrown a wrench into Brooklyn’s plan to integrate him into their lineup.

The point guard recently was given an epidural in his back to help the pain and get him back on the floor faster.

“It might be the epidural, it might just be time, physical therapy,” Nets head coach Steve Nash said over the weekend. “I’m not sure who is responsible for the improved symptoms.”

The process to get back on the court still seems to have a ways to go for Simmons. He still has to be able to do 1-on-1, 3-on-3 and  5-on-5 drills, and he has not been able to do any of that yet.

There are two weeks in the regular season remaining and practice time will be limited for the Nets, who play nearly every other night the rest of the way.