Nets’ coach Jacque Vaughn labels Ben Simmons ‘day-to-day’ after MRI shows back inflammation

Ben Simmons, Brooklyn Nets

The Ben Simmons saga in Brooklyn is turning bizarre by the day.

After initially sitting out with a sore left knee after the All-Star break, Simmon’s injury has been compounded by back inflammation, according to his latest MRI results.

Simmons missed his sixth consecutive game Sunday night but the Nets didn’t need him in making quick work of the lowly Charlotte Hornets, 102-86, for their second straight win.

Mikal Bridges set the tone for the rout with a career-high 19 points on a perfect 9 for 9 shooting in the first quarter.

There’s no timetable for Simmon’s return. But Nets coach Jacque Vaughn personally labeled his status as day-to-day.

“We want Ben back when he’s capable of being back for us. The day-to-day thing? That’s just for me to say some term to you guys,” Vaughn told reporters before the game. “When the back gets better, and when the knee gets better, then he’ll be with us.”

It’s anybody’s guess when that will be, and if Simmons regains his form that made a three-time All-Star.

Their first back-to-back victories since trading Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving extended the Nets’ lead over the seventh-seed Miami Heat (34-31) to 2 1/2 games.

They signed veteran center Nerlens Noel to a 10-day contract as insurance.

Simmons’ lingering back issue has hampered him since getting traded to Brooklyn after sitting out for nearly a year in Philadelphia.

“So, we’ll see what that looks like, you know, kind of day by day, but that’s what we’re managing, along with trying to strengthen that knee,” Vaughn said.

The Nets have improved to 12-10 without Simmons this season.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

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