Ben Simmons hasn't played for the Brooklyn Nets since Nov. 6 because of a lower back injury and appears set to be sidelined until mid-December. He'll be re-evaluated in two weeks following an epidural injection, head coach Jacque Vaughn announced prior to Saturday's game. 

Simmons has struggled with his health often in recent years. He missed all of the 2021-22 season with a back injury that required surgery after forcing his way out of the Philadelphia 76ers via trade and missed 40 games in 2021-22. The top pick from the 2016 NBA Draft and three-time All-Star showed signs of a bounce-back season through six games this year and averaged 6.5 points, a career-high 10.8 rebounds, and 6.7 assists per game.

Brooklyn is doing just fine staying afloat without Ben Simmons. They kicked off the year going 3-3 with him and have gone 6-6 since his departure. They rank 10th in the Eastern Conference and are neck-and-neck with the Atlanta Hawks and Toronto Raptors, who have nine wins apiece. 

The Nets made the playoffs in 2022-23 despite moving Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant in midseason trades, but they have their work cut out for them if their first full season with a new young core is derailed by injuries.