Brooklyn coach Jacque Vaughn has once again dispelled the rumors that Ben Simmons won’t play for the remainder of the season.
On Thursday Vaughn reiterated that the team is “definitely operating” under the belief that Simmons will return from his back and left knee soreness that has kept him sidelined since February 19.
“There’s zero discussions about him not playing,” Vaughn said.
“We expect him to be back, waiting for him to be back, watching the last Sacramento game, it was great to see him and his physicality versus Sabonis last time, so looking forward to seeing that again, for sure.”
For someone that seems so confident Simmons will be back, Vaughn gave a rather vague explanation on a timeline to return and declined to provide details about Simmons’ practice work.
“No setbacks,” Vaughn said. “He’s progressing. So, great to see him.
“He’s doing some work on court right now, so as more updates come, I’ll definitely give them to you guys, but good to see him back on court getting some work in.”
In the 42 games he has played this season, Simmons is averaging career lows of 6.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.3 steals per game.
It’s been an enormous fall from grace from a three-time All-Star, two-time All-Defensive team selection and 2018 Rookie of the Year.
Last season, Simmons was battling with the same lower back issues that he’s suffering from now. The team expected him to make a return during the playoffs but it never happened.
He was set to return for Game 4, but controversially opted out of playing once the Nets were down 0-3.
If Simmons is serious about returning this season, he better be quick because Brooklyn only has nine games left in the regular season.