Ben Simmons will finally make his long-awaited debut on Monday for the Nets, according to a new report.
Barring any setbacks in his recovery, Simmons will play in Game 4 of the Nets first-round series with the Boston Celtics, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported on Thursday. It would mark the first game Simmons has played since June 2021.
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Brooklyn Nets three-time All-Star Ben Simmons plans to make his season debut in Game 4 vs. Boston on Monday as long as rehab remains on course, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Simmons is set to play his first game since June 2021.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 21, 2022
The Nets have remained extremely guarded with official information about Simmons’ return to the court since they acquired him in February from Philadelphia. However, that hasn’t stopped the constant flow of reports on his condition as he saw his return to the court hampered by a herniated disc in his back, which prevented him from returning near the reported mid-march target date for his debut.
Now the point guard would return to the floor with possibly the Nets’ season on the line after Brooklyn dropped the first two games of the series in Boston. The Nets have made sure to keep the 25-year-old as looped in as possible while he’s been working towards a return.
“If he’s able to play at some point, having him kind of become as familiar as possible with what we’re doing, because those things change day to day,” Nets head coach Steve Nash said earlier in the week. “You’re making adjustments — and so having him be involved in all that stuff, so if he is able to play at some point, he’s comfortable.”
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Simmons is expected to bring a boost to the Brooklyn defense, which has struggled this season, and help facilitate the offense while he’s on the floor. The big question remains about how much he’ll be able to do after being away for nearly a year.
His defensive ability speaks for itself from his stats last season, but it’s unclear how limited he’ll be and how much Brooklyn plans on using him in his first game back.