Though Simmons was shooting and working with stretching bands at Tuesday’s Nets practice, coach Steve Nash said he still has a long way to go before returning to the lineup.
“It’s not like we’re expecting him in the lineup this week or next,” Nash said.
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Asked directly if Simmons would miss the play-in game, Nash said, “I would be shocked [if he played].”
Though actually participating is a major step, Simmons has yet to start running, and the Nets want to be careful with his back injury given that he didn’t play at all for the 76ers this season before being traded to Brooklyn.
Nash wouldn’t say what he thought about the possibility of Simmons playing in the first round of the playoffs, should the Nets make it that far.
Although, speaking on ESPN’s ‘NBA Today’, league insider Ramona Shelburne said should Simmons be fit for the playoffs, she believes the Nets will have no hesitation in having him play.
That is, of course, despite the fact the Australian has not played a full game in almost 10 months.
This article first appeared on the New York Postand was reproduced with permission.