Nets’ plan to ease Ben Simmons’ workload when he returns from calf strain this week as he looks to jump-start his time in Brooklyn after suffering multiple injuries and mental health issues
- Ben Simmons has missed eight of the Nets 25 games this season through injury
- And last week, he was sidelined again with a strained calf when he missed the game vs. Magic left
- Simmons told reporters Tuesday that he is eyeing a return Friday against the Hawks
- But his latest setback seems to have changed his and the team’s thinking once again
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In a stop-start year so far for Ben Simmons, he and the Nets are apparently considering a new approach to his workload as he sees a Friday return.
Simmons, who missed the entire season last season with back and mental health issues, played the first six games of the season – well below his best – before missing the next four games with knee pain.
And after a spell where he played 11 of the next 12 games and regularly scored for 30 minutes a night, Simmons was again sidelined last week with a calf strain.
Ben Simmons will hope to return to his pre-injury appearance when he returns to court on Friday
While a return against the Hawks would mean he’s only sat out four games, the latest setback seems to have changed the organization’s thinking when it comes to managing him.
“I think we’ll definitely take a look [workload] very different,” Simmons told reporters Tuesday.
‘Maybe not [playing] back-to-backs or whatever it is. I think that will be a joint thing with the training staff and myself.’
“It’s going to cost everyone. Some guys might not play for a night,” Simmons said. “We have to make sacrifices and do what we can to help win games.”
Simmons’ final injury care came at an unfortunate time, as he played his best basketball as a Net with double-digit points in six consecutive games.
Simmons has missed eight of the Nets’ 25 games so far, with another expected Wednesday
In addition to Simmons, the Nets have had other health issues as Seth Curry missed eight of the first nine games due to ankle issues and TJ Warren, who was working his way back from left foot issues, only made his season debut last week.
Those issues have led to gaps in the rest of the roster, with Kevin Durant leading the league in minutes, and Simmons apparently overexerted as well.
“In an ideal scope, we don’t want to play that many minutes against Kevin in the future. And hopefully we’ll get to a point where Ben’s minutes aren’t what they were before, [Kyrie Irving’s] minutes are not where they were before,” said coach Jacque Vaughn.
‘[We hope] that we have the depth that we can divide and share a few of those minutes with some guys who are moving forward and moving towards what we want to achieve once the playoffs come.”