Brooklyn coach Jacque Vaughn has once again dispelled the rumors that Ben Simmons won’t play for the remainder of the season.

On Thursday Vaughn reiterated that the team is “definitely operating” under the belief that Simmons will return from his back and left knee soreness that has kept him sidelined since February 19.

“There’s zero discussions about him not playing,” Vaughn said.

“We expect him to be back, waiting for him to be back, watching the last Sacramento game, it was great to see him and his physicality versus Sabonis last time, so looking forward to seeing that again, for sure.”

For someone that seems so confident Simmons will be back, Vaughn gave a rather vague explanation on a timeline to return and declined to provide details about Simmons’ practice work.

“No setbacks,” Vaughn said. “He’s progressing. It’s great to see him.

“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.”

Simmons’s career lows in this season’s 42 games include 6.9 points and 6.3 rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 1.3 steals.

It’s been an enormous fall from grace from a three-time All-Star, two-time All-Defensive team selection and 2018 Rookie of the Year.

Last season, Simmons was battling with the same lower back issues that he’s suffering from now. He was expected to return to the team during the playoffs, but that didn’t happen.

He was scheduled to return for Game 4 but he controversially chose not to participate after the Nets lost 0-3.

Simmons should be quick if he wants to return this season. Brooklyn still has nine regular season games.

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