But Simmons hasn’t made it on the court yet with his teammates, and Marks didn’t really sound confident it would happen any time soon.
“Unfortunately, his back stiffness has delayed his ability to get on the court with his teammates. So he’s been rehabbing this last week to 10 days,” Marks told YES Network. “And then now he’ll progress throughout this week with some individual workout. Hopefully by the end of next week he’s getting to work in a team environment and then we can really ramp up with him and start him getting into game shape and so forth.
“Although there’s no real timetable, we just gotta take it day by day and see how he responds. Hopefully sooner the better. We need to get this group together and get minutes together on the court.”
It came out last week that Simmons has been dealing with that back soreness during his reconditioning, which has slowed his progression to getting back into the game. He obviously wasn’t playing or practicing with the Philadelphia 76ers prior to the trade, but was getting work done on his own to stay in shape.
Steve Nash mentioned last week that Simmons had not yet participated in a “high-intensity workout” yet, so there is some time to go and the Nets will surely be cautious along the way. Rushing Simmons back could make this back soreness return.
It’s unfortunate for the Nets because they have been on a 5-16 skid since Kevin Durant went down. However, Durant is set to return on Thursday against the Miami Heat following his injury, and the NYC vaccination mandate is expected to be lifted on March 7, allowing Kyrie Irving to become a full-time participant for the first time this season.
Still, Marks made this trade hoping Simmons was that missing piece for a championship squad. We’ll see if his back can heal in time to get on the court to build some chemistry before the playoffs.
Source: Yahoo Sports