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Sources: Nets' Ben Simmons eyes Team Australia return at WC

Ben Simmons hopes to play for the Australian national team in this summer's FIBA World Cup and has been included in the team's initial selection pool, sources told ESPN.

The Brooklyn Nets guard didn't play in the team's final 23 games because of a back injury and has been rehabbing. His return to play will be dictated by the progress of that recovery, which has been going well, sources said.

Simmons hasn't played for the Boomers, who won the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics, since 2013.

Australia coach Brian Goorjian told SEN Radio in Sydney on Friday that he has been in touch with Simmons recently and is optimistic he will be able to join the team this summer.

"I think his mindset is getting healthy, getting in shape and getting ready to play in this [World Cup]," Goorjian said. "There were unfortunate circumstances [why he didn't play at the Olympics], but I feel like he is going to make himself available."

The Aussies open the World Cup against Finland on Aug. 25 in Okinawa and will also play Germany and Japan in pool play.

Simmons played just 42 games for the Nets last season, averaging 6.9 points, 6.3 rebounds and 6.1 assists.