The latest update on Ben Simmons’ ongoing recovery doesn’t look any more promising for the Nets.
Simmons underwent an MRI scan that revealed inflammation in his back, coach Jacque Vaughn said Sunday.
The guard — who hadn’t played since the All-Star break and saw his minutes reduced before the break — remains day-to-day, but there’s no definite timetable for his return.
“We want Ben back when he’s able to come back for us,” Vaughn said during the Nets’ 102-86 win over the Hornets on Sunday. “Every day matter, I just have to say that to you in some terms.
“When the back gets better, and the knee gets better, then he’ll be with us.”
While Vaughn added that he wants that moment to come as soon as possible, he made sure that the 26-year-old needs to be taken care of and those two permanent injuries are healed.
Ben Simmons remains out for the Nets. USA TODAY Sports
An MRI revealed swelling in Ben Simmons’ back. Noah K. Murray for the NY Post
Vaughn reiterated Friday that the team has no intention of — and has had “zero” conversations — closing Simmons for the season.
Simmons’ recent rash of injuries began with left knee soreness.
A strengthening program started after the All-Star break didn’t help right away, and that’s when back pain started showing up on the injury report for a variety of reasons.
Sitting out the last six games, bringing his season total to 22, has prevented Simmons from returning to the starting lineup and trying to improve on his 2022-23 numbers, both of which have fallen to 6.9 points and 6.1 assists per game. career lows
“We’re day-to-day,” Vaughn said, “but that’s what we’re managing along with trying to strengthen that knee.”
Cam Johnson briefly left the game in the second quarter after getting hit in the face and getting a bloody nose.
The coaches came out to check on him, and he attempted two free throws — the missed call became a highlight — before walking down the tunnel toward the Nets locker room.
Cam Johnson shoots during the Nets’ win over the Hornets on March 5th. AP
He came back, though, and said he was fine after the game.
“Tough,” Vaughn said. “Little blood. Clean it up, and get back there. I love. I love.”
Charlotte’s 86 points are tied for the second-fewest by the Nets this season. Washington was held to 86 on November 4th, and five days later, Brooklyn held the Knicks to 85.
On Sunday, the Nets evened five goals in a game this season, dating back to their Feb. 1 game against Boston.
Yuta Watanabe, who was ruled out for Sunday’s game with back pain, played six minutes.
Simmons and Edmond Sumner were the two Nets available.