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Sean Marks: No timetable, but Ben Simmons weeks away from playing for Nets

Sacramento Kings v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images

In a comment to Michael Grady on Twitter, Sean Marks admitted there’s been a set back in Ben Simmons ramp-up that will keep him off the court for what sounded like several weeks. As reported by others previously, the issue is with Simmons’ back.

Marks’ comment also foreclosed the possibility that Simmons, acquired from the 76ers in the trade for James Harden, will be ready for next Wednesday’s matchup with the Sixers and Harden in Philadelphia.

Here’s the full comment...

“Unfortunately, his back stiffness has delayed his ability to get on the court with his teammates. So he’s been rehabbing these last sort of week to 10 days. Now, he’ll progress throughout this week with some individual workouts. Hopefully, by the end of next week, he’s getting more into the team environment and then we can really ramp-up and start him getting into game shape and so forth.

“Although there’s no real timetable, we have to take it day-by-day and see how he responds and hopefully the sooner the better. We need, again, to get this group together and get minutes together on the court.”

The news confirms what both Brian Windhorst and Shams Charania reported earlier about the Simmons condition. On Wednesday, Windhorst was asked about Simmons availability for his highly anticipated return to Philadelphia where he hasn’t played since last June, having cited mental health issues — and a desire to play elsewhere.

Prior to that, Steve Nash had described the issue as “a little flare-up.” a normal part of Simmons re-conditioning. Windhorst indicated in his comments on ESPN’s Sports Nation that the setback had occurred during his re-conditioning which began after he joined the Nets following the February 10 deadline blockbuster.

“I wouldn’t buy non-refundable tickets or hotel rooms,” Windhorst said of the March 10 game. “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.”

Before that, Shams had said something similar, putting a damper on hopes of a quick return. Shams told Pat McAfee...

“He is gonna have to rehab that back but there is hope and optimism that he’ll be back on the floor before the playoffs,” said Shams. The post-season begins on April 12 with the play-in tournament. The Nets, now the 8th seed, are likely to need to win the play-in tournament to secure a spot in the playoffs.

Marks comments also come after Windhorst took a veiled shot at the Nets transparency on Simmons situation.

“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.”