Former University of Kentucky center Nerlens Noel might be able to return to the court this season after all.
Noel, a rookie with the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, has not played a game since tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on Feb. 12, 2013, in Kentucky’s game at Florida.
The 76ers chose Noel with the sixth pick of this year’s NBA Draft with the idea that the rookie probably would spend this entire season rehabilitating the knee before returning next season.
But on Wednesday, ESPN.com, citing sources,said Noel has been given the go-ahead by Dr. James Andrews to resume basketball-related activities and could be ready to take the court shortly after the All-Star break.
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Noel visited Andrews in Florida last week, the report said.
“He is doing excellent, and the team is taking good care of him,” Andrews told ESPN.com on Wednesday.
Andrews told ESPN.com that he was unable to provide more information because of privacy laws, but sources told ESPN.com that Noel could return to game action within the next four to six weeks barring a setback.
Philly.com reported Tuesday that Noel has been taking part in one-on-one drills this week.