Friday, February 12, 2016

Dr. Andrews clears Noel to practice

76ers rookie Nerlens Noel has been cleared by surgeon James Andrews to resume basketball-related activities. There's a belief that Noel could be on the court after the NBA All-Star Game.

Dr. Andrews clears Noel to practice

The 76ers´ Nerlens Noel. (Michael Perez/AP)
The 76ers' Nerlens Noel. (Michael Perez/AP)

76ers rookie Nerlens Noel has been cleared by surgeon James Andrews to resume basketball-related activities. There’s a belief that Noel could be on the court after the NBA All-Star Game.

“His knee is fine,” a source close to the situation said Wednesday “He went to Dr. Andrews last week. He just needs to get in the basketball shape. Dr. Andrews said he suspects he will be ready to play in a game in four to six weeks.”

Andrews told that Noel is "doing excellent, and the team is taking good care of him."

The source said that the 6-foot-11 rookie center is waiting for the Sixers to clear him to play.   Noel had surgery after he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in February during his lone season at Kentucky.

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There’s a thought that the Sixers don’t want to rush him onto the court. It also believed that they would be content if he missed the entire season. In October, coach Brett Brown said Noel was likely to miss the entire season.

However, Brown said Tuesday that Noel is making improvement. He also disclosed that the 19-year-old participated in one-on-one drills with player development Greg Foster on Tuesday.

The coach added that Noel isn’t ready to face teammates in a game of one-on-one. But he likes the former Wildcat's competitiveness.

Brown expects Noel to undergo growing pains once he gets on the court.

“He is not going to have game shape and then you are going to have to go against a Joakim Noah [of Chicago] and Tim Duncan [of San Antonio] and it’s going to take time,” Brown said. “Playing is playing.  You need to feel things and do things and see things, and he hasn’t done that.  So I think his timing is going to be way off, perhaps for awhile.”

The Sixers acquired Noel from New Orleans in a draft-day trade for all-star point guard Jrue Holiday. At the time, Noel was expected to be sidelined until December while he recovered from the injury.

 - Keith Pompey

Follow and contact Inquirer 76ers beat writer Keith Pompey @PompeyOnSixers

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About this blog

Keith Pompey has been an Inquirer reporter since September 2004 and took over the Sixers beat in the summer of 2013 after covering Temple basketball and football for the previous three years.

Marc Narducci has served in a variety of roles with the Inquirer since beginning in 1983. He has covered the 76ers as a backup and a beat writer. In addition, Narducci has covered everything from the Super Bowl to the World Series and a lot in between.

Keith Pompey Staff Writer
Marc Narducci Staff Writer
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