http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/9860407/nerlens-noel-philadelphia-76ers-expected-for-seasonThe Philadelphia 76ers are now expecting to hold first-round draft pick Nerlens Noel out for the entire upcoming season as he recovers from knee surgery, coach Brett Brown said Monday.
I doubt, everybody doubts that he's going to play this year," Brown said before the Sixers played the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday. "We don't want to waste this year. I think from a skill perspective, it's an opportunity for us to break down his shot, really work on his free throws and start a little bit from ground zero."
It was not originally the Sixers' plan to sit Noel, the No. 7 overall pick who had surgery to repair the ACL in his left knee last March, for the entire season. He first suffered the injury last Feb. 12 while playing for the Kentucky Wildcats.
The timetable for Noel's recovery was initially set for 6-8 months, which was expected to allow him to return sometime in the middle of his rookie season.
Dr. James Andrews, who performed the surgery, told ESPN in June that Noel was ahead of schedule.
"We're really happy with his progress," Andrews said at the time. "He's several weeks ahead of schedule on his rehab. He's improving on a weekly basis. He has a completely stable knee."