Nerlens Noel was injured on this play on Feb. 12 at Florida (file photo)
Nerlens Noel will have surgery to repair the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on Tuesday. Kentucky's star freshman will travel to Florida to have the procedure done by renowned sports surgeon Dr. James Andrews.
“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 released statement. “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 6-foot-11 forward was injured Feb. 12 after chasing down Florida guard Mike Rosario on what appeared to be an uncontested breakaway, swatting Rosario's shot away at the rim before his momentum carried him into the goal support. Noel's left knee caved inward as he landed, and it was revealed the next day he had torn the ligament.
Dr. Scott Mair of UK Sports Medicine will be present for the surgery and help coordinate Noel’s rehab on his return to Lexington. By choosing Dr. Andrews the Noel family will have more options available to them throughout the NBA Draft process. The rehabilitation is expected to take six to eight months.
“Due to the unique timetable for Nerlens’ recovery period in regards to the NBA Draft deadline, the University of Kentucky and Noel’s family thought it was in his best interest to have his surgery performed by Dr. Andrews in Florida,” Executive Associate AD DeWayne Peevy said. “Being one of the few surgeons that NBA franchises use regularly, Dr. Andrews’ involvement will allow the NBA personnel to have the most updated post-surgery information available in regards to Nerlens’ medical condition. Our medical staff and administrators are not permitted to talk to NBA teams and Nerlens is not allowed to be examined by the NBA, prior to the draft, without jeopardizing his eligibility.”
Noel was averaging 10.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 4.4 blocked shots per game when he went down. He will finish second on Kentucky's single-season blocked shots list with 106.
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