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Ben Simmons reportedly dealing with sore back, Nash downplays it as part of return

Boston Celtics v Brooklyn Nets

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 24: Ben Simmons #10 of the Brooklyn Nets looks on during the first half against the Boston Celtics at Barclays Center on February 24, 2022 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)

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Ian Eagle mentioned it first Thursday night’s TNT broadcast, but it was almost in passing: Ben Simmons has been dealing with a sore back during the ramping up of his workouts as he nears a return to play. Then on Saturday, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweeted this out:

“Over a period of time” leaves things open, but Nets coach Steve Nash played down the severity of the issue before the Nets’ win over the Bucks on Saturday. Via Nets Daily:

“I just saw the reports. It’s been the same process. It’s just a little soreness in his back,” the Nets head coach said during his pregame presser Saturday evening. “It’s not like an injury. It’s just as he’s returning to play, his back has flared up a little bit. He hasn’t played a game since June so that’s just part of his process of returning to play is as you ramp up, he’s a little sub septic to certain things as you would be with muscle soreness or tightness. He’s got a little tightness.”

Charania said the Nets saw this as a day-to-day issue.

It doesn’t sound serious, but everything with Simmons gets a little extra attention after being at the heart of the biggest trade of the season. It’s worth monitoring.

Kevin Durant is nearing a return and could be back this week. Kyrie Irving will soon be able to play in Nets’ home games. Once Simmons is on the court, the Nets will have their big three together, and it will be a matter of building chemistry over the limited number of remaining games.

Whether that will be enough in a deep East remains to be seen.