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Ben Simmons’ agent: ‘very excited about his ability to return to form next year’

As Ben Simmons said Wednesday in an Instagram Story, it’s day-by-day but hopeful

Orlando Magic v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Ben Simmons continues his rehab and his agent says he and Simmons are “very excited” about a “return to form” next season following his clearing a recent hurdle in his rehab.

“Ben has been cleared to progress to his next stage of his rehab and is progressing really well,” Simmons’ agent Bernie Lee told Brian Lewis Wednesday. “And we remain very excited about his ability to return to form next year.”

A return — presumably to his All-NBA and All-Defensive Team form he showed prior to sitting out the 2021-22 season then undergoing back surgery — would be a big deal for te Nets. Sean Marks has said getting him healthy and back on the court is the franchise’s top priority.

Simmons has recently posted images of the HSS Training Center gym in Brooklyn and Wednesday in Miami, indicating he’s working out...

Note the “Day by day” caption.

Indeed, just the fact that Simmons is working out is a positive since it indicates he doesn’t need a second procedure on his back. The Nets had said they expected Simmons doctors would examine the need for more surgery in early May, the first anniversary of his surgery at Cedars Sinai in Marina Del Rey, California. Lee did not define what the “next stage” of his rehab might be, but working out with other players may very well be next.

In addition, the Australian national team has expressed hope that he’ll be ready for the FIBA World Cup in Asia at the end of August and Simmons himself has expressed optimism stating the the only impediment to him donning the green and gold is his rehab. Australia’s national team, the “Boomers,” opens its training camp on August 1. Sean Marks had said in his end-of-season press availability that he hoped Simmons would be ready by September 1.

Simmons played hurt last season. He appeared in only 42 games. posting averages of just 6.9 points, 6.3 boards and 6.1 assists this season for Brooklyn, all career lows and his scoring was roughly half his career average. He last played on February 15 and was officially shut down by the Nets on March 23.

Nets fans (and before them, their 76ers counterparts) have been skeptical about his ability to get back to full form and concerned about his remaining salary, $78.2 million over the next two years. It seems now that between his progress and possible return to action in the World Cup, there are markers to gauge how far he’s come.