Simmons sat out nearly the last two months of the Nets‘ regular season because of lingering pain in his back, but he’s indicated that his rehab work is going well. The Boomers’ first World Cup game will take place August 26 in Okinawa, and their training camp will likely start in early August.
Australian national team head coach Brian Goorjian recently expressed hope that Simmons would be able to participate, and Simmons told The Daily Telegraph in Sydney (subscription required) that he’ll try to be ready.
“I’m currently rehabilitating my back injury and putting my full effort and focus towards that,” Simmons said. “I love what coach Goorjian is building with the Boomers and I look forward to being a part of the program in the future.”
Lewis points out that the microdiscectomy that Simmons underwent last May to repair a herniated disc typically carries an 18-month recovery timeline for the nerves to be fully healed. A nerve impingement that sidelined Simmons in February is common among people who undergo that operation, according to medical experts that Lewis consulted.
Sources close to Simmons and the team told Lewis that a second surgery isn’t likely to be necessary, although a final decision won’t be made until later this month. Lewis adds that Simmons has been working out regularly at the Nets‘ facility and recently posted pictures from those sessions on Instagram.
Playing in the World Cup would give Simmons a chance to sharpen his skills ahead of Brooklyn’s training camp, which starts in late September. The Nets will need the three-time All-Star back in top form to serve as a leader of their rebuilt roster.