Nerlens Noel may not play in a regular season game this year, but the 76ers rookie is now healthy enough to play.
Philly.com is reporting that Noel has been cleared for all basketball related activities by Dr. James Andrews.
Orthopedic surgeon James Andrews told ESPN.com on Wednesday that Noel was “doing excellent, and that team is taking good care of him.” A source close to the situation added that “his knee is fine. He just needs to get in basketball shape.”
Noel had surgery after he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in February during his lone season at Kentucky. The 6-foot-11, 228-pounder met with Andrews last week and the surgeon cleared him to participate in basketball-related activities.
Even though Andrew’s has been cleared, Noel will not fully participate or play in any games until he is cleared by 76ers team physicians.
The source close to the situation said he believes that Andrews wants credit for putting Noel in position to return to the court, regardless of whether he is ready to return.
The Sixers say they don’t know when Noel will return.
“There are so many different layers to this,” Brown said before Wednesday’s game against the Charlotte Bobcats at the Wells Fargo Center. “To get all excited now about a time line that has been put out would not be a wise thing to do. It’s going to take a lot more boxes [to check]. He’s progressing well. But there really isn’t a definitive time line.”
The 76ers are clearly in no rush to put Noel out on the court, and will probably stick to their plan of having Noel not play in one game this season while they totally reconstruct his game.