Brooklyn Nets point forward Ben Simmons says he may not be at his best for a while as he returns to the court for the first time in well over a year.

“It takes time,” Simmons said after Brooklyn's 130-108 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday, according to The Athletic's Alex Schiffer. “Having back surgery and being away from the game for a year, there’s little things that your mind might tell you to go do something but your body’s not wanting to go do that. But those are the habits, that’s something that I just need to continue to focus on and be aggressive regardless of the result."

Wednesday's contest was Simmons' first official game action since the 2021 playoffs, when he struggled in the Philadelphia 76ers' Game 7 defeat to the Atlanta Hawks.

The three-time All-Star fell short of expectations in his Nets debut, tallying four points and five assists before fouling out in just 23 minutes of action. He missed both of his free throw attempts.