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Managing injuries now part of Nets plan for final season run

Brooklyn Nets v Miami Heat Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

The Nets injury update is improving, with only Joe Harris out for the year following ankle surgery and Ben Simmons rehabbing his lower back issues, on the list nowadays. Considering the night when 10 players were out with a variety of injuries and illnesses early in the season, that’s not bad.

But as Seth Curry and Steve Nash noted Tuesday, Curry’s left ankle needs a lot of TLC and Simmons status remains uncertain, a “mystery” as one of his teammates described it. As Curry has said previously, he hurt his ankle weeks before the February 10 trade and managing it has been a tough go.

“Sometimes, yeah. Most of the time, yeah honestly. I’d say we’re doing a good job of trying to manage it on off days, and getting the proper amount of treatment,” Curry said. “It’s tough just in the sense that I can’t do as much as I want to every day as far as practice-wise and working on my game, getting extra work in.”

Curry didn’t think he’d need offseason surgery.

“No, it’s not that. Just more of an extended amount of rest period. Probably a month or so just rest,” Curry said. “But obviously not going to get that now.”

Steve Nash echoed his shooting guard’s comments.

“I’m under the assumption that it’s more rest than anything,” Nash said of Curry. “But yeah, he’s going to have to manage this thing probably the rest of the way.

“He’s still playing relatively like himself. He’s had some really great nights for us and carried this thing pretty well. He’s a pretty tough character and wants to play, so I think he’ll be OK. If there’s pockets where we can preserve him and limit his minutes, we’ll try.”

Curry has missed four games, including three in a row from March 13 through 16. He aggravated things against the Jazz five days later and had to leave the game after 12 minutes. He also sat the next game against the Grizzlies two days later.

Meanwhile, the mystery of Simmons continues. The beat writers are resolute in asking if there was anything new, but the answer is more often than not, there’s nothing. The Nets would like to have Simmons on the court for the final two games of the season, April 8 vs. the Cavaliers and April 10 vs. the Pacers, both at home. Still, Nash has said he would have no problem dropping Simmons into a playoff game without any regular season minutes.

Andre Drummond, asked about Simmons daily routine, said he’s the “mystery guy” in that he spends a lot of time off the practice court presumably in the bowels of HSS Training Center getting better.

“In terms of what he’s doing, none of us know,” Drummond told writers. “He’s the mystery guy. He comes in in sweats every day, and then God knows what he does after that. So hopefully he’s doing this recovery and he’s getting better each and every day. When we get him back, we get him back.”

Drummond added that while Simmons is in good spirits his workload is limited.

“You guys (have) seen him during the game, he’s doing it,” he said. “That’s as much as he’s done.”

Curry also spoke about Simmons’ good spirits.

“Seems like it, yeah,” said Curry who’s been Simmons teammate both in Philly and Brooklyn. “He keeps saying he wants to be out there as fast as possible, but he’s in a good space, being around the team and soaking up the knowledge and locking into film sessions and doing everything he can do.”

“He’s moving around a little bit more. He looks good, he looks happy,” added Drummond.

But so far, no practice and no indication he’ll be on the court anytime soon.

The latest detail on Simmons situation came during the Nets win over the Heat in Miami. Simmons made the trip, progress in itself, and Michael Grady said the combination of an epidural, rest and rehab had stopped his lower back pain from radiating to his legs.

And what about LaMarcus Aldridge. He’s been available the last two games after missing time with a hip issue but didn’t play in either the loss to the Hornets or the win over the Pistons. Is he out of the rotation with Drummond and Nic Claxton playing so well?

“Honestly, I don’t know,” Drummond said post-game. “The rotations here have been different, so I don’t know how they really want to run the show when it comes to that. I know LA’s ready. I spoke to them today. I guess last game was just (his) first game back.

“He’s a professional at the end of the day. He knows what it takes to stay on the floor, what it takes to be prepared for games, when his number’s called he’s always prepared. So I don’t control what the narrative is on the whole rotation thing. I just play the game.”