Ben Simmons not cleared to practice this week, says Nets coach Steve Nash

Ben Simmons
Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons talks to forward Blake Griffin on the bench during the first quarter against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The hope that Ben Simmons would be ready for the Nets trip to Philadelphia on March 10 seems to be fading.

Simmons has not been cleared for high-intensity workouts and will not practice this week, Nets coach Steve Nash said prior to Monday’s game. That would seem to indicate whatever timeline the Nets had for  Simmons to take the court would be impacted by the latest development in his return.

The Nets’ deadline acquisition has been dealing with back soreness during his reconditioning.

“He’s just doing some light shooting and just physical therapy,”  Nash said when asked about what Simmons has been able to do.  “Making sure he gets that back 100%. And manage that little flare-up while he does shooting and his reconditioning stuff that he’s able to do while that thing settles down.”

The news seemed to come on a day that stifled some of the positive momentum that Brooklyn had been feeling after the win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday. Earlier in the day,  New York City Mayor Eric Adams had said during an interview on CNBC that he would not make an exception to the city’s private sector vaccine mandate to allow Kyrie Irving play and a little over an hour after Nash spoke to reporters it was announced he had to be placed in COVID protocol.

While the exact date of Simmons’ debut with the Nets is still unknown, Andre Drummond told reporters following the morning shootaround that Simmons appeared in good sports.

“He seems like himself,” Drummond said, according to ESPN. “Not that I had a chance to be around the whole situation in Philadelphia; I wasn’t there for it so I can’t speak on that, but what I see now from what I get to be with him every day, he’s a happy kid and he’s looking forward to playing.”