Nets have had 'zero discussions' over shutting down Simmons' season - Vaughn

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Ben Simmons has had "zero discussions" with the Brooklyn Nets about bringing his season to an end, says head coach Jacque Vaughn.

While remaining vague about the specific issue keeping Simmons sidelined, the 26-year-old has been contending with back and knee problems.

Speaking prior to the Nets' 101-96 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Thursday, Vaughn confirmed he expects Simmons – who last featured on February 15 – to be back on court before the season ends.

"Definitely operating under that belief," Vaughn replied when asked if Simmons will play again this campaign.

"There's zero discussions about him not playing. We expect him to be back, waiting for him to be back."

It has been a frustrating time in Brooklyn for Simmons, who did not play at all last season after moving to the Nets in the huge trade that saw James Harden switch to the Philadelphia 76ers.

He sat out the first half of the season while he was waiting to be traded, then missed the rest of the campaign with a back issue.

While he has played 42 games this term, Simmons is averaging career-lows for points (6.9), rebounds (6.3), assists (6.1) and steals (1.3).

Vaughn added there has been no setback to his recovery.

"No setbacks. He's progressing. So, great to see him," he added.

"He's doing some work on court right now, so as more updates come, I'll definitely give them to you guys, but good to see him back on court getting some work in."

The Nets' setback to the Kings leaves them sixth in the Eastern Conference, two wins back of rivals the New York Knicks.

Forward Mikal Bridges was pretty frank about why the Nets failed to get the job done.

"They just played harder," Bridges said. "Get stops and they were just scoring. Getting to the line. But, yeah they just played harder than us."