Noel's ACL surgery scheduled for Tuesday

jtipton@herald-leader.comMarch 11, 2013 

Freshman star Nerlens Noel will undergo surgery Tuesday to repair the anterior cruciate ligament he tore at Florida on Feb. 12, Kentucky announced.

"After talking with my family, I decided to schedule my surgery over spring break so I wouldn't miss as much class," Noel said in a news release. "I wish all my teammates luck in the SEC Tournament and look forward to getting back to Lexington as soon as I can to begin my rehab and finish my school work."

The procedure will be performed by Dr. James Andrews. Dr. Scott Mair of UK Sports Medicine will be present for the surgery and help coordinate Noel's rehab in Lexington.

On the Dan Patrick radio show Monday, Kentucky Coach John Calipari noted that the rehabilitation process will be a factor in whether Noel enters this year's NBA Draft or chooses to return to UK next season.

"If he's attacking the rehab, then he'll have options," Calipari said. To which, Patrick noted that Noel showed such drive and fortitude in his freshman season.

A determination on the rehabilitation process and Noel's basketball future probably will come in about six weeks, Calipari said.

"It's a family decision," said Calipari, who added that he would support a decision to enter the draft or return to Kentucky.

"If he goes, I think he'll still be one of the top three picks," the UK coach said.

And if family decides Noel should return to UK?"As they leave my office, I'll do two back flips," Calipari said.

Jerry Tipton: (859) 231-3227. Twitter: @JerryTipton. Blog: ukbasketball.bloginky.com

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