Ben Simmons out 3 games with left lateral upper calf strain – The Denver Post


Nets star Ben Simmons will miss at least the next three games with what the team is calling a left lateral upper calf strain.

He will be reassessed after Sunday’s matchup against the Boston Celtics, after which the Nets have two off days before hosting the Charlotte Hornets the following Wednesday.

Simmons left Monday’s matchup against the Orlando Magic at the top of the second quarter with what the team called soreness in his left knee. It’s the same knee that endured swelling at the beginning of November. Simmons ultimately had fluid drained from the knee and missed three games before returning to the court.

“It’s the knee but the back of the knee,” head coach Jacque Vaughn said on Wednesday. “You know, he was grabbing his knee during the game and said he needs to come out. It end up being the back of the knee. So it’s the upper part of the calf. Which ended up being diagnosed after we took some imaging.”

Vaughn said the Nets aren’t yet ruling Simmons out for all games on the second leg of a back-to-back this season, but they also aren’t taking that type of load management off the table. The team isn’t exactly sure how Simmons’ knee/calf flared up in the first place.

“I don’t know if we can pinpoint and say it was one thing or another. [It was an] acute injury,” Vaughn said. “Could it have been accumulation of games? We had five [games] in seven [nights]. That could have definitely contributed to it. He doesn’t remember a specific event that happened in the game. So I think it’s on us to be smart when he does come back.

“Does that mean minute restriction? Maybe so. Does that mean not playing back to backs? Maybe so. Nothing is out of the realm of considering what’s best for the team, which we’ll always consider, but we want each individual to be available to play every single game. That’s the goal.”

Simmons’ injury came playing the second game of a back-to-back after logging 34 minutes in the win against the Portland Trail Blazers. Vaughn said the injury was due to the load Simmons is being asked to carry after missing the entire 2021-22 NBA season, then getting offseason back surgery.

“He hasn’t had this amount of accumulation of games over a period of a long time,” Vaughn said after the Magic game. “Talked to the performance team about that. We were warned about that just as these games start to add up. His cumulative load as that begins to add up, it’s really stretching him sometimes the amount of games we’ve just had with the minutes that he’s played pretty high going into tonight’s game.”

The setback comes at an inopportune moment for both the Nets and Simmons, who had turned a corner in his back rehab and strung together easily his best stretch of basketball in a Nets jersey.

Simmons strung together five consecutive double-digit scoring games, including two games with 20 or more and two near-triple doubles, entering the back-to-back. In Game 1, Simmons finished with 12 rebounds, eight assists and three steals in 34 minutes against the Trail Blazers. In Game 2, his knee flared up three minutes into the second quarter.

The Nets are 7-4 in games Simmons has played since returning from his first bout with swelling in his knee.

Vaughn said Simmons is in good spirits and that he spoke to his star forward for about 15 minutes before speaking to reporters on Monday.

“We talked about now what happens through this process over the next three games that you’re not playing,” Vaughn said. “And my reiteration of the consistency and the habits in between this time of treatment, recovery, staying locked into your teammates, continue to converse with me what we’re doing well, what we’re not doing well.”


The Nets will also be without reserve forward Yuta Watanabe for another week.

Watanabe, who had been out since the Nov. 20 win over the Memphis Grizzlies with a strained right hamstring, had an MRI on his hamstring on Monday. The results were consistent with the results of his previous MRI.

He is still feeling some level of discomfort in his hamstring and will be reassessed in a week, the team announced.

The Nets are reportedly expected to welcome veteran forward TJ Warren into the rotation Friday against the Toronto Raptors. Warren hasn’t played in the last two seasons due to consecutive stress fractures in his left foot.

The last time he played, he averaged 27 points per game for the Indiana Pacers during a short stint in the Orlando Bubble.



Source link