Head coach Jacque Vaughn said his Brooklyn Nets are expecting forward Ben Simmons to return to the lineup this season.

“There’s zero discussions about him not playing,” Vaughn said Thursday, according to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. “We expect him to be back, waiting for him to be back.”

Simmons was initially ruled out during the All-Star break due to a knee injury but experienced some back inflammation earlier in March. He has missed the last 12 games.

The 26-year-old hasn’t had any setbacks while strengthening his knee and back and has progressed to on-court work but does not have a timetable for a return.

“Good to see him back on court getting some work in,” Vaughn added.

Simmons has had multiple extended absences this season, missing 16 games before his current injury. Over 42 contests, he’s averaged 6.9 points, 6.3 rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 1.3 steals per game, all career lows.

The Nets hold a 39-31 record, good for sixth in the Eastern Conference. They face the Denver Nuggets on Sunday.

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