Ben Simmons in high spirits after surgery, plans to make Nets debut next season

ben simmons, knicks

Brooklyn Nets’ forward Ben Simmons can now focus on returning to playing competitive basketball after successful back surgery.

Simmons was in high spirits after going under the knife last week in Los Angeles, according to The Athletic’s top NBA insider Shams Charania.

“I’m told he’s feeling a lot better and the goal for him is to be playing basketball in the 2022-23 season,” Charania said on Pat McAfee Show Tuesday.

Simmons is expected to recover before next season’s training camp in September. But there’s a big question mark on what kind of player the Nets will be getting back.

“Everyone’s just gonna hope that Ben Simmons can regain some of the form that he had when he’s a three-time All-Star and two-time All-Defensive Team member,” Charania said.

Simmons will attempt to return after a year and a half away from competitive basketball. In what started as a holdout after his much-publicized falling out with his former team Philadelphia 76ers, Simmons’ situation turned into bizarre. He cited mental issues as the main culprit until his back injury exacerbated the problem, causing him to miss the whole season altogether.

The Nets never had the chance to live up to the hype as the preseason title favorites after a series of unfortunate events, with Simmons’ situation serving as the final straw. A stunning sweep to the Boston Celtics in the first round mercilessly ended their agonizing season.

Next season, they are banking on Simmons to give them length and defensive versatility, which they sorely lacked against the Celtics. And they are also hoping to get back a healthy Joe Harris and Seth Curry to complement the Kevin Durant-Kyrie Irving-Simmons trio.

Curry also underwent successful arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle Monday. Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Martin O’Malley performed the surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. Dr. O’Malley also did Harris’ ankle surgery.

Like Simmons, Curry should be ready before next season’s training camp barring any setback.

The Nets, who will enter next season as a luxury team anew, are limited in what they can to remake their roster. So, the health and the availability of their stars will be crucial in their bid to win their elusive first NBA championship finally.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

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