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Windhorst: Ben Simmons may not be ready this month, certainly not next week

Toronto Raptors v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Michelle Farsi/Getty Images

The continuing mystery of Ben Simmons ramp-up continues. While Steve Nash has characterized the new Net’s back issues as a “a little flare-up.” a normal part of Simmons re-conditioning, there are now several reports Simmons may not be back anytime soon.

In a discussion between Brian Windhorst of ESPN and Simmons agent Rich Paul, Windhorst said Paul had told him that his client is more “week-to-week” than day-to-day which led Windhorst to suggest the Nets might not even have him at all in the month of March, let alone the March 10 match-up with the 76ers in Philadelphia.

“I wouldn’t buy non-refundable tickets or hotel rooms,” Windhorst told ESPN. “Rich Paul and they just told me over the weekend that Ben is now considered week-to-week. He’s had some back soreness — that’s what Steve Nash referred to it as. Six or seven days ago, the (Nets) had a plan in place, that’s what I was told, that would have had both Durant and Ben Simmons back active by that game on March 10. But now that plan has been scratched.

“Durant should be back this week but Ben Simmons is ‘week-to-week’ and March 10 is next week. As of yesterday, Ben hadn’t been able to do a five-on-five workout with the team yet. Frankly, he’s not close. I don’t even know if he’s going to be back in March.”

Windhorst also took a swipe at the lack of transparency on the issue.

“You know, there’s been so much obfuscation and protection and difficulty with this situation,” said Windhorst. “It’s very hard to get your arms around it, but I think you can scratch March 10.”

Indeed, yesterday in the face of Nets assurances, Shams Charania also put a damper on hopes of a quick return in talking to Pat McAfee.

“He is gonna have to rehab that back but there is hope & optimism that he’ll be back on the floor before the playoffs,” said Shams. A return by the playoffs? Was that kind of timeline, similar to Windhorst’s something the Nets had even hinted of?