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Report: Simmons has spine irritation, Nets hope for return before playoffs

David Dow / National Basketball Association / Getty

Ben Simmons has yet to play for the Brooklyn Nets due to an L-4 disc irritation in his lower spine, sources told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski.

However, the Nets are reportedly hopeful the 25-year-old can make his team debut before playoffs. The club believes Simmons could appear in a "couple" of regular-season games, reports Shelburne and Wojnarowski.

Simmons hasn't played at all this season. After requesting a trade from the Philadelphia 76ers last summer, the three-time All-Star reportedly told the franchise that he wasn't mentally ready to return to the court and subsequently sat out. Since being traded to Brooklyn at the Feb. 10 deadline, Simmons has been sidelined indefinitely with back soreness.

Nets head coach Steve Nash said Wednesday that Simmons received an epidural injection to help his recovery.

Nash revealed Tuesday that Simmons has yet to participate in non-individual basketball activities.

"He's just doing his rehab, strengthening," Nash said, per ESPN's Nick Friedell. "We're still doing that side of things rather than court work right now."

Including Wednesday's contest with the Dallas Mavericks, the eighth-place Nets have 13 games remaining in the regular season, which wraps up April 10. If Brooklyn fails to move up the standings, it would have to compete in the play-in tournament to make the first round of the playoffs.

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