Is Ben Simmons getting surgery to repair issues with his back the best thing for him and the Philadelphia 76ers during this hiatus?
The seriousness of Ben Simmons‘ nerve impingement shouldn’t be understated. If not properly taken care of, this injury could have a negative impact on not just this season, but possibly the next one. With that in mind, what should be the best way to treat this health issue?
Currently, Simmons is going through physical therapy to treat this injury, per Tim Bontemps of ESPN. Before the NBA suspended games until at least June (according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN), thanks to the coronavirus outbreak, Simmons was unsure if he’d return this season.
In the past, I’ve already written about how the pause in play by the NBA should help Simmons’ recovery time, but that was with at least a 14-day period perspective in mind. June is around two and a half months away, which is a much longer time frame than before.
Considering that June could be the earliest return to NBA play, all treatment options need to be examined for Simmons, including surgery. The point guard did indicate that surgery was an option to current the issues in his back. Simmons had this to say about surgery as a possible treatment option, h/t to Bontemps of ESPN.
“‘I mean, I think that’s something down the road if it gets to that,…But right now I’m doing great. I feel great, and I’m feeling strong.’”
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It’s encouraging to hear that Simmons feels great and doesn’t see surgery as something necessary at the moment, but one has to wonder what happens if his recovery plateaus or if this physical therapy is a half measure. There’s a possibility it happens and then that puts the Sixers in a tough place moving forward if this season continues and possibly next season.
Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets put off getting shoulder surgery for months after injuring it early in the preseason, trying all other types of methods to fix the impingement in his shoulder. In the end, it didn’t work and before the postponement of games, Irving was expected to miss the rest of the season after he got surgery.
A shoulder injury is different than a back one and there’s obviously more risk of getting back surgery due to all the nerves in the spine. It would be nice if Simmons could rehab this injury without surgery. However, if he’s not shown significant improvement by the time he’s reevaluated in early April, he might have to consider having surgery.
Obviously, I’m not trying to tell Simmons what he needs to do with his body. He’s the only one who knows what’s truly best for it. His health takes higher priority than the Philadelphia 76ers’ success. Hopefully, he gets better soon, but if things don’t improve by the next time he gets it looked at, surgery should become a real option for him and not just a distant possibility. Not for the just Sixers’ sake, but for his own long-term health.
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