The Brooklyn Nets ruled out big man Ben Simmons ahead of Saturday’s home matchup with the New York Knicks. Simmons exited Brooklyn’s 130-122 loss vs. Detroit Thursday with soreness and swelling in his left knee.
The 26-year-old struggled to make an impact prior to the exit, going scoreless on 0-3 shooting. The knee flare-up comes during one of Simmons’ worst stretches of the season. The three-time All-Star is averaging 5.7 points on just 5.2 shots per game in January as Brooklyn searches for production with Kevin Durant sidelined by an MCL sprain.
Simmons missed four games in early November due to soreness and swelling in the same knee. The Aussie told the Athletic’s Shams Charania that he had received PRP injections on top of having blood drained during the extended absence. This is the second time Simmons has exited the second half of a back-to-back with an injury. He also left a Nov. 28 win over Orlando with a calf strain that would sideline him for three games.
When asked about whether there is concern about Ben Simmons playing back-to-backs moving forward, Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn had an interesting response following the loss to the Pistons:
“The goal in my eyes is for everyone to play every game and to do what’s necessary to be prepared to play every game,” Vaughn said. “There’s a certain amount of minutes that each individual played (last night) in Philly, some played equally tonight. So the preparation that it takes going into that, you just have to give credit to the guys who were prepared to play, ready to play, did what was necessary to get their bodies ready to play.”
Brooklyn will also be without T.J. Warren Saturday as the forward suffered a left shin contusion Thursday.
The Nets have fallen to fourth place in the Eastern Conference while posting a 2-6 record with Durant out. Kyrie Irving and Co. will look to get back in the win column against a Knicks team fresh off an overtime victory over the league-leading Boston Celtics.