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Ben Simmons of the Brooklyn Nets had surgery to address his back injury on Thursday, the team announced. Simmons was already sidelined for the rest of the 2023-24 season; last week, the team announced that he would consult with specialists and that he, the Nets and his representatives were "in discussions with numerous experts to determine the course of action that will provide him with the best opportunity for long-term sustainable health."

From Thursday's press release: 

Brooklyn Nets guard/forward Ben Simmons underwent a successful microscopic partial discectomy earlier today to alleviate the nerve impingement in his lower back. The procedure was performed by Dr. Timur Urakov, in consultation with Dr. Barth Green, at UHealth Jackson Memorial Medical Center. Simmons is expected to make a full recovery in time for training camp next season.

In May 2022, months after the Nets acquired him in the trade that sent James Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers, Simmons had a microdiscectomy, a minimally invasive procedure, to alleviate pain caused by a herniated disc. He was able to play at the beginning of the following season, but it was a struggle -- he suited up in 42 games, none after the All-Star break, and Brooklyn announced last March that he'd be out for the rest of the season because of a nerve impingement. Simmons later said that getting out of bed and sitting down for too long would cause pain and tightness and he could "barely jump" when he was on the court.

Back issues have plagued Simmons since a Feb. 2020 incident in Milwaukee that left him throwing up from the pain. The hope, for Simmons and the Nets, was that this season the story would change. He said he felt "amazing" going into training camp and showed some encouraging signs, particularly in the preseason, but managed to appear in only 15 regular-season games and play only 359 minutes.

In 2024-25, Simmons will be on a $40.3 million expiring contract and again looking to get his career back on track. He made three All-Star teams and one All-NBA team before Brooklyn acquired him, and he was the runner-up for Defensive Player of the year in 2021. The way the last few years have gone, though, merely finding a way to stay on the floor without developing nerve pain would constitute a successful season. Ideally, this surgery will be the first step toward doing so.