Australian NBA star Ben Simmons has had successful back surgery and will begin rehab in three weeks, aiming to make his Nets debut in the 2022-23 pre-season.
Ben Simmons will have surgery to alleviate pain in his back caused by a herniated disk, the Brooklyn Nets said on Thursday (Australian time).
The procedure will be done in the next 24 hours. The Nets said it was decided upon after consultation with multiple back specialists.
Simmons sat out this entire season. The No. 1 pick in the 2016 draft didn’t play in Philadelphia after requesting a trade, citing mental health concerns. After he was dealt to Brooklyn in February in a deal for James Harden, he was bothered by the back while trying to rebuild his conditioning.
The Nets originally said he had back spasms but later said the problem was a herniated disk. Simmons eventually resumed workouts and hoped to make his debut during the playoffs, but that plan was scrapped when he experienced more pain.
Simmons will have a microdiscectomy, in which a small fragment of the disk is removed.
“After consultation with multiple back specialists, it has been determined that the best course of action for Ben’s long-term health is for him to undergo surgery,” the Nets said in a statement.
“The microdisectomy procedure, scheduled for Thursday, is designed to alleviate pain caused by the herniated disc in Ben’s back. Further updates will be provided following the procedure.”
Simmons eventually resumed workouts and hoped to make his debut during the playoffs, but that plan was scrapped when he experienced more pain.
Brooklyn were swept out of the first round of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics.
Simmons’ last game was June 20, 2021, his final one in a 76ers uniform, during a post-season series-ending loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
Simmons, 25, is a three-time All-Star over his four NBA seasons, scoring 15.9 points with 8.1 rebounds and 7.7 assists in 275 career games, all starts for Philadelphia.