Ben Simmons injury draws crucial update from Jacque Vaughn

The timetable surrounding Ben Simmons’ return remains unclear, with Brooklyn Nets coach Jacque Vaughn providing another cautious update on his status on Sunday.

Simmons has been absent since the All-Star break, missing the last 10 games as he continues to manage both back and knee soreness. When asked about the enigmatic Australian, Vaughn said, “He’s still managing his back and knee soreness. He’s back home in Brooklyn. We’ll get a chance to kind of see where he’s at when we get back home after this trip” (via New York Post).

The comments are consistent with the dialogue which has followed this latest injury setback, with both Simmons and others within the Nets organization unable to give a clear indication of when he will return this season, if at all.

Of course, Simmons’ time in Brooklyn has been clouded by an inability to get on the court. He didn’t play at all last season, and this year he has managed to take to the floor for 42 of the Nets’ 68 games. In those games, he has also been conspicuously inconspicuous; his 26.3 minutes per game is more than six less than he has ever averaged in a season, while his 6.9 points per game is less than half of what he has averaged in a season.

After losing their first four games following the All-Star break, the Nets have won five of their last six, and are generally managing just fine without Simmons. The way he has played for much of the year, his return wouldn’t necessarily make an enormous difference to the team, but at his best he is an elite defender and capable playmaker. Ben Simmons at his best would be a significant boost for the Nets, but at this point, the question is not whether he will return to his best this year, but whether he will return at all.

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