Nets' Ben Simmons ruled out vs. Suns due to knee injury sustained during first game in months

A pinched nerve in his back previously cost Simmons a significant chunk of the season

Brooklyn Nets guard Ben Simmons is out for Wednesday's matchup with the Phoenix Suns, the team announced.

This comes after the 27-year-old played his first game in nearly three months on Monday. He recorded 10 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds vs. the Utah Jazz in his season debut.

Simmons was perfect from the field on limited shot selection, making five shots from inside the restricted area. His playing time was limited to 18 minutes, a timeframe he and head coach Jacque Vaughn agreed on beforehand.

But the return still came at a cost, as Simmons suffered a left knee contusion after taking a hit during the game, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania. After the knee began to swell, Simmons reportedly underwent tests that showed no further injury.

Ben Simmons de los Nets de Brooklyn durante un entrenamiento previo al partido contra los Cavaliers de Cleveland en Levallois-Perret, en las afueras de París, el miércoles 10 de enero de 2024. (AP Foto/Thibault Camus)
Ben Simmons is out with a new injury. (AP Foto/Thibault Camus)

The issue arose during the final play of Simmons' comeback game, per ESPN's Tim Bontemps. He fell awkwardly and was seen flexing his knee as he walked off the court, Bontemps reported. Simmons told reporters that he felt fine following the 147-114 win, but he was downgraded from probable to questionable before he was ultimately ruled out Wednesday.

As details surrounding the three-time All-Star's status began to circulate, his agent, Bernard Lee, took to social media to assure fans that the injury is minor:

Vaughn said Wednesday that Simmons will be considered day-to-day and that an MRI revealed no structural damage in his knee. It's unclear how long Simmons will be sidelined this time, but it seems unlikely that his current injury will keep him out for as long as the last one did. He was previously hampered by a pinched nerve in his back that he began to recover from on Nov. 6.

Following Wednesday's game in Brooklyn, the Nets visit Simmons' former team, the Philadelphia 76ers, on Saturday. If Simmons can suit up for that game, it'll be his 49th appearance since the 76ers traded him to the Nets in 2022.