Ben Simmons has had back surgery, Nets announce

Ben Simmons underwent what was determined to be successful back surgery in Los Angeles on Thursday. The Brooklyn Nets hope he is fully recovered before training camp begins this fall.

Simmons will need about three weeks for an “initial recovery period,” the Nets said, before he can begin his rehabilitation program. Simmons’ procedure was called a microdiscectomy, in which a small fragment of a herniated disc is removed to relieve pressure on the spine.

The training camp will begin at the end of September.

Simmons last played a game on June 20, 2021. He’s missed all of that season — some with Philadelphia before being traded to the Nets in the move that sent James Harden to the 76ers — for a variety of reasons, including mental health issues prior to the trade. then what was originally called return spasms after the exchange.

The hope is that the surgery will allow Simmons to get back on the court, play pain-free and become another key part of a title-seeking squad led by Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving that Brooklyn is eyeing. Working through the mental issues Simmons is facing, Nets coach Steve Nash said late in Brooklyn’s season will remain a top priority for the team going forward.

“There’s a mental component to everything,” Nash said late last month. “I think Ben explained that there’s a mental component to what he’s going through. But how bad and where he is is not for me to talk about. But as an organization , we really try to support Ben in every way we can to help him improve physically and get back on the pitch.

It was the second full season that Simmons has missed in the past six years. He was picked No. 1 in the 2016 NBA draft, but did not debut that season due to foot issues. He was Rookie of the Year the following season, 2017-18, and was selected to NBA All-Star Games in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Simmons has three years and nearly $114 million remaining on his contract.

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