Nets star Ben Simmons asked to be pulled out of Monday’s matchup against the Orlando Magic after aggravating his left knee in the second quarter.
It is an undoubted setback for Simmons, who dealt with an earlier bout of what the team is calling left knee soreness at the beginning of the month. After appearing to turn a corner with the knee, Simmons left the floor in the second game of a back-to-back.
“We’ll check him day-by-day, see how he responds to treatment and see what it looks like tomorrow,” head coach Jacque Vaughn said after the game.
Vaughn said he doesn’t think Simmons will get an MRI done and said the performance team didn’t mention anything about imaging.
This is Simmons’ second run-in with left knee soreness this season. He missed four straight games at the end of October into the second week of November with knee swelling. He ultimately had fluid drained from the knee.
Simmons left the floor with nine minutes to go in the second quarter.
Vaughn said the recurring knee issue isn’t related to Simmons’ offseason back surgery.
“I think more so than anything the accumulation of games. He hasn’t had this much accumulation of games over a period of a long time,” he said. “We were warned about that a little bit as these games start to add up. His cumulative load as things start to add up, it’s really stretching him sometimes: the amount of games he’s had with the minutes he’s played being pretty high going into tonight’s game.”
Simmons missed all of last season due to a combination of mental health issues and a lower back injury that required an epidural and eventually offseason surgery. After turning a corner with his back, Simmons’ left knee flared up.
Since returning to the rotation on Nov. 15, Simmons is averaging 13.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game.
His last bout with knee soreness sidelined him for eight days and three games.