NBA Rumors: Former NBA Team Doctor Thinks Ben Simmons Will Not Return This Season—At All

According to a report in The New York Post, Ben Simmons might not play a single game for the Brooklyn Nets this season. The story quotes former Orlando Magic team doctor Rahul Shah, a board-certified orthopedic spine & neck surgeon, who said this about a possible Simmons return this season after the latest setback with his back:

I don’t think that’s happening. I think the odds are against it. Think about it this way: The longer he’s been out, the longer he’s likely to stay out. Until you fundamentally change the underlying problem.

As the Post reports, he wasn’t ready to practice by last Saturday as initially hoped, and he’s not even cleared to run and sprint, or go one-on-none. That's a long way from being ready for full contact 5-on-5. 

The regular season ends on April 10th, less than four weeks away. Two "outside experts" told The Post that Simmons couldn't be ready by then, while another said even the playoffs are unlikely.

Shah is based in New Jersey, and according to the report, he "likened Simmons’ situation to being in quicksand and said he expects Simmons to need an epidural cortisone shot and, potentially, offseason surgery."

The Nets, of course, dealt James Harden in a trade with the Philadelphia 76ers, acquiring Simmons as the centerpiece to hopefully lead them to title contention this season. Simmons, however, hasn't played an NBA game since last June. 

“What do I think is going to happen?" asked Shah. "Season ends, media goes quiet, he takes care of whatever he needs to. And then he’s rehabbing, and he comes back: ‘Oh yeah, he had a minor procedure done on his back.’ That’s what I think is going to happen."

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