Simmons received an epidural to treat the herniated disc in his back on March 15 and has been unable to do any basketball-related activities. However, he was able to travel with the team for the first time in a month during Brooklyn’s road trip this week and his back is starting to feel better, according to Brian Lewis of The New York Post.
“Yeah he’s feeling a lot less pain,” coach Steve Nash said of Simmons, who still has to be cleared to practice 1-on-1, 3-on-3, and 5-on-5 before he can even be considered for playing. “I don’t have any major updates. His symptoms are improving and I think he’s progressing, but he’s not on the floor yet.”
Here’s more on the Nets:
- Kevin Durant is relieved to have Kyrie Irving back for home games, ESPN’s Nick Friedell writes. Irving was recently exempted from New York City’s vaccine mandate. “It’s a long time coming,” Durant said. “It’s an exciting time for Brooklyn Nets fans and New York fans to see one of our own back on the floor at home. It means a lot to our team, happy to have him back, and look forward to finishing the season strong. I’m glad this is all behind us.”
- Coach Steve Nash echoed a similar sentiment, Lewis writes in a separate article for The New York Post. “Yeah it’s great, we’re excited. Can’t wait to have him back for home games and for all our games,” Nash said. “We’ve missed him and it’s nice that we can not only have him back at home but also gain some reps and continuity together. We just are happy it’s over. We don’t have time to worry about anything other than we’ll have Kyrie at home now. … It’s positive in every sense of the word. We get to have him back, we don’t have to think about it, talk about it, worry about it. We’re moving forward, he’s able to play and it helps us in every way.”
- In a Sports+ article for the Post, Lewis explores how not getting traded helped Nic Claxton regain his form. Through 38 games this season (19 starts, 20.3 MPG), Claxton is averaging 8.5 PPG, 5.4 RPG and 1.1 BPG. The 22-year-old center will be a restricted free agent this summer.
- Coach Nash said LaMarcus Aldridge should be able to return to action next week, Lewis tweets. The veteran big man has missed Brooklyn’s last eight games with a right hip impingement.