Sports

Will surgery get Ben Simmons’ career back on track?



Brooklyn point guard Ben Simmons has undergone successful back surgery to alleviate pain caused by the herniated disc and is expected to return for his debut with the Nets in the 2022-23 pre-season.

“Following an initial recovery period of approximately three weeks, Simmons will begin a rehabilitation program,” the Nets said in a release on Thursday.

Simmons and the Nets expect him to be ready for training camp, the team said. 

He will be in the third year of a $US177 million ($A245 million) contract he signed before the 2020 season with a salary of $US35,448,672 ($A49 million). 

His final two seasons (2023-24 and 2024-25) include a total base salary over $US78 million ($A108 million).

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - MARCH 10: Patty Mills #8 and Ben Simmons #10 of the Brooklyn Nets take the court for warm ups before the game against the Philadelphia 76ers at Wells Fargo Center on March 10, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The Nets had planned to have Simmons on the court one month after he was acquired from the Philadelphia 76ers on February 10.

But Simmons, who forced his way out of Philadelphia in a dispute with coach Doc Rivers and co-star Joel Embiid, ran into repeated setbacks.

When his initial goal of playing March 10 at Philadelphia was scrapped, Simmons opted for an epidural injection in late March.

He was cleared for contact at the start of the playoffs, practised three consecutive days as per team policy, and was set to suit up for Game 4 of the Nets-Boston Celtics series. 

He informed the team the day before that game he was still experiencing back problems.

Simmons’ last game was June 20, 2021, and also his final game in a 76ers uniform, during a postseason loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

© AAP



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