After lacking three straight video games with a left lateral calf pressure, Nets star Ben Simmons will sit his fourth straight in Wednesday’s matchup in opposition to the Charlotte Hornets however is concentrating on Friday’s sport in opposition to the Atlanta Hawks for his return.
“I feel good, really good. I’m excited where I’m at right now,” Simmons stated after the Nets held a lightweight particular person work session on the HSS Training Facility in Industry City on Tuesday. “So I’m looking for Friday to get back into the court.”
Simmons stated he felt his calf get tight in direction of the top of Brooklyn’s Nov. 27 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
That was the Nets’ fourth sport in six nights, and he performed 34 minutes earlier than suiting up the next evening within the second sport of a back-to-back in opposition to the Orlando Magic.
Simmons requested out of the Orlando sport with 9 minutes left within the second quarter and has not performed since. The Nets dominated him out for the rest of that sport with knee soreness earlier than updating the prognosis the next day to a calf pressure.
It is the second time Simmons’ left knee has skilled discomfort. Simmons missed a handful of video games originally of November resulting from swelling in his left knee. He in the end had fluid drained from his knee.
“I think we’re definitely gonna look at [managing my workload] a lot differently,” Simmons stated. “I don’t know if it’s measuring minutes. Maybe not back-to-backs, I don’t know what it is. I think it’s gonna be a joint thing with the training staff and myself, letting them know how I’m feeling.”
Simmons known as it “super frustrating” that his knee flared up and resulted in a calf pressure so quickly after he began taking part in at a excessive stage.
The star ahead averaged 15.5 factors, 6.8 rebounds and 5.8 assists within the six video games main into the Trail Blazers sport. After laboring via the primary leg of the season following offseason again surgical procedure, Simmons reclaimed the athleticism that allowed him to impression a sport simply earlier than sustaining the calf pressure.
“I wanted to come back tomorrow [against the Hornets], but obviously, the team’s best interest probably is best for me to come back Friday. So [we] just have to be smart about it. It’s a long year. I think down the stretch, it’s best for us to have everyone back healthy for the playoffs.”
Head coach Jacque Vaughn stated Simmons is “running a little bit, which is great to see.”
Vaughn stated the problem lies forward in managing minutes not just for Simmons but additionally for each Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving. Durant presently leads the NBA in complete minutes performed at 921.7. Irving has performed in fewer video games resulting from his eight-game suspension however is averaging the identical variety of minutes per sport as Durant (36.9), and beginning ahead Royce O’Neale may want his minutes managed.
O’Neale checks in proper below Durant for the second-most minutes performed within the NBA.
“Hopefully we get to a point where Ben’s minutes aren’t where they were previously, Kai’s minutes aren’t where they were previously, that we have the depth where we can space and share some of those minutes amongst a few guys, going towards where we want to get to once playoffs come around,” Vaughn stated. “I said that to [Royce] today. I said, ‘I’m playing you too many minutes, I know.’ But we’ll resolve all that. Right now it’s early enough in the year where we can get away with it, but it’s not sustainable.”
Simmons stated he thinks his knee troubles are associated to his again harm. He missed time with the 76ers resulting from a nerve impingement in his again in 2020, suffered a herniated disk after the midseason commerce to Brooklyn, obtained an epidural to alleviate the ache related to that herniated disk, then in the end underwent a microdiscectomy process this offseason to cope with the again troubles for good.
“You’ve just gotta be smart,” Simmons stated. “Being in the league six or seven years, it’s about being healthy at the end of the year. You want all your guys healthy and ready to go, so that’s the main objective.”
Simmons stated it was robust to overlook the Celtics sport as a result of the Nets might have used his measurement and defensive presence in opposition to Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.
“We’ve got three more games against them,” he stated. “So I look forward to those games.”