Brooklyn Nets swingman Ben Simmons will require three to four months of rehabilitation after undergoing back surgery, but is expected to be fully recovered to return to the court well ahead of preseason training camp in September, sources told ESPN on Wednesday.
Simmons, 25, had a microdiscectomy procedure Thursday to address pain located in a herniated disk in his lower back.
The Nets called the surgery a success in a statement Thursday and said the procedure was performed by Dr. Robert Watkins IV in Los Angeles. Simmons will have an initial recovery period of approximately three weeks, the team said.
The decision to undergo the surgery was reached after "consultation with multiple back specialists," the team said Wednesday.
Despite several attempts that ultimately resulted in setbacks, Simmons never played a game for the Nets following a Feb. 10 trade with the Philadelphia 76ers. Simmons had planned to return for Game 4 of the Nets' Eastern Conference first-round series against the Boston Celtics, but a week-plus of pain-free days ended with pain soreness on the eve of Brooklyn's elimination.
Simmons and his agent, Klutch Sports CEO Rich Paul, met with Nets general manager Sean Marks and team officials the following day, agreeing to continue to work together on Simmons' physical and mental well-being in the ultimate effort to try and return him to the court next season.
The surgery will clearly limit Simmons' ability to progress on a 2022-23 return after missing the entirety of the past season with the Sixers and Nets.
Simmons, a three-time All-Star and the 2017 NBA Rookie of the Year, has three years and $114 million left on his contract after this season.