The Brooklyn Nets are once again without Ben Simmons.
The All-Star guard has been diagnosed with a left lateral upper calf strain and will miss at least Brooklyn's next three games, according to ESPN's Nick Friedell. He will reportedly be reassessed after that.
The injury occurred during the second quarter of the Nets' win over the Orlando Magic on Monday. Simmons checked out of the game for good 9:03 remaining in the half. Nets head coach Jacque Vaughn told reporters the exit was due to knee soreness.
From the New York Post:
"He had some left knee soreness, that same knee. Asked to be pulled out of the game," said coach Jacque Vaughn, who didn't anticipate any further imaging on the knee. "We'll check him day by day, see how he responds with a little treatment, see what it looks like [Tuesday].
Absences have been a recurring issue for Simmons since the James Harden trade landed him in Brooklyn last season. He never saw the court last year due to a standoff with the Philadelphia 76ers and a herniated L4 disc in his back, meaning his season debut this year was his first game action since June 2021.
That return had already seen Simmons miss five games a month ago due to a sore left knee, and now he has another injury in the same leg. The Nets currently hold a record of 11-11 as they go into Wednesday's game against the Washington Wizards.
When on the court, Simmons had seen his numbers take a step backward compared to his Sixers career, but not so much when adjusted for time and possessions.
He is currently averaging career lows in points (8.4), rebounds (6.6), assists (5.8) and steals (1.2) per game, but he has also been playing fewer minutes per game as well. His scoring has definitely gone downward — he has gone from 15.9 points per 36 minutes last season to 10.7 this season — but he is still contributing rebounds and assists at a similar rate.
His defense has been another story, as he hasn't looked his All-Defensive Team self with the Nets (not having Joel Embiid behind him might be a detriment) and is fouling at a significantly higher rate.