Ben Simmons Is Out Again With Another Injury

For the third time this season, Ben Simmons is out of the Brooklyn Nets lineup. He couldn't play last year after they acquired him due to 'mental unreadiness' and a back issue. He finally made his debut with the team this season, struggled to stay on the floor because of foul trouble, and then missed four games due to a knee injury in early November. 

Simmons missed another game with the knee issue just over two weeks ago, and now comes word, just as he was starting to regain his old form, that he'll be out for a few more games at least.

Simmons asked to be pulled from the game Monday night vs. the Orlando Magic in the second quarter, and has now been diagnosed with a left lateral upper calf strain. He will miss at least the next three games and will be reassessed after that. 

The Nets, earlier this season, were privately very frustrated with Simmons' inability to be relied upon to play due to all the maladies and even a perceived lack of drive to be out on the court. But then suddenly, he'd begun to turn things around for seven straight games, looking somewhat closer to the 3-time All-Star version of Ben Simmons. 

In the seven games prior to Monday when the injury cropped up again, he'd been averaging 13.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 1.6 steals. His plus-29 was second on the team. And a far cry from his team-worst minus-43 in his first nine games.

Now, it'll be at least into next week before the Nets see Simmons on the court again. 

 Photo: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports