Nets guard Ben Simmons says he ‘feels amazing’ weeks after starting rehab after back surgery
Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons is preparing to come back strong next season. Simmons was optimistic about his return on Thursday, saying he “felt amazing” after being allowed to start rehab after back surgery.
Simmons posted an image to his Instagram Story in which he is seated in front of his Nets locker. He wrote “feeling amazing” on the photo.
Simmons missed the entire 2021-22 NBA season due to a lockout, mental health issues and a back injury. He was traded from the Philadelphia 76ers to the Nets at the trade deadline, but did not adjust to his new team due to back problems.
Simmons underwent back surgery in May. He was cleared to begin rehabilitation from the injury in early June. If Thursday’s message is any indication, the rehab process is going well for Simmons.
Ben Simmons facing a critical season with the Nets
It will be important for Simmons to be up and running once he is finally ready for the Nets. Simmons hasn’t played in a professional game since a 2020-21 playoff loss to the Atlanta Hawks. Simmons was criticized for his performance in this series. He passed up easy shooting opportunities and barely shot at all in the fourth quarter of close games. Joel Embiid and 76ers coach Doc Rivers apparently questioned Simmons’ ability after that playoff loss.
These comments led to feuds between Simmons and the 76ers. Simmons asked for a trade in the offseason, but the 76ers didn’t budge. Simmons initially stayed away from training camp, forfeiting his salary to stay away from the team. He eventually flagged, argued with the team, and then missed time due to both sanity and a back injury.
The 76ers eventually traded Simmons to the Nets for James Harden. Simmons didn’t play a game for the Nets and decided to have back surgery after speaking with doctors.
The Nets need Simmons back and playing at a high level next season. Simmons has three more seasons left on his contract and will earn over $35 million each year. If he can’t reach his previous levels, it will be difficult for the Nets to get rid of this contract, especially given the way things ended up in Philadelphia.