Nets’ Ben Simmons starts rehab phase after back surgery

Ben Simmons has been out and about in New York recently. And The Post has confirmed the Nets star has successfully taken the next step following his back surgery: from the recovery phase to the rehab phase.

Simmons didn’t play a single second this season, either for the 76ers or for the Nets after they acquired him at the trade deadline. The three-time All-Star had successful microdiscectomy surgery at Cedars-Sinai Marina Del Rey Hospital in Los Angeles on May 5. The procedure was performed by Dr. Robert Watkins IV.

At the time, the Nets suggested that following an initial recovery phase Simmons should be able to begin rehabbing in earnest in three weeks or so. Now, a source close to Simmons confirmed he has begun the rehab phase and is right on schedule to be ready well before training camp.

Ben Simmons
Corey Sipkin

Dr. Watkins is the spine consultant for the Lakers, Clippers, Rams, Dodgers, Kings and MLS club Los Angeles FC. His practice has had 43 NBA players as clients, and the most recent surgery prior to Simmons was a December procedure on Bucks center Brook Lopez. The former Net was back playing by early March.

Dr. Neel Anand, director of spine trauma at Cedars-Sinai Spine Center, which is affiliated with the hospital where Simmons’ had his procedure, concurred with that three-month timeline for being back out on the court.

“Microdiscectomy is probably one of the best procedures we do. Most patients recover really fast,” Dr. Anand told The Post. “Ten days to six weeks, rehabbing. Six weeks to three months, pretty much getting back to the field. And then three months I’d say most athletes will be back on the field, back doing everything.”

On Saturday, Simmons watched the Port Washington men’s lacrosse team play in the Long Island Championship. Then on Tuesday, he took in the Liberty’s win over Minnesota at Barclays Center with fiancée Maya Jama, as well as Nets teammates Seth Curry and Cam Thomas.

NBA
Ben Simmons takes in a Liberty game on Tuesday.
NBAE via Getty Images

Despite recent reports that Kyrie Irving has signed a new deal to be represented by Donda Sports, The Post has learned his agent is still Shetellia Riley Irving.

Donda, which was founded by Kanye West, has added Celtics wing Jaylen Brown and Rams lineman Aaron Donald to the fold. Irving and West are “super supportive of each other’s initiatives” according to a source. Whenever possible, Irving will “always lend an assist to Donda Sports,” and they reciprocate for the Nets star.

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