Nerlens Noel’s hard work and rehab from a torn ACL is paying off. Noel said he is expected to be back by Christmas this season. The Philadelphia 76ers top pick will give them immediate help off the bench, however, Noel should take his time coming back given the NBA’s history of players recovering from serious injuries.
Even if Noel recovers, he will need some time to adjust and will have to be eased into playing with limited minutes off the bench. He hasn’t played since mid-February, so Sixers head coach Brett Brown will slowly work him into the rotation.
Noel also will take a higher chance of reinjuring his ACL or at the least aggravate his knees to the point where he will be sitting out during stints of his comeback. He has apparently been rehabbing under the supervision of a renowned surgeon and physical therapist.
The Sixers will most likely take their time with allowing Noel to comeback considering the team’s low expectations this season. Noel should spend most of this season rehabbing and doing light drills in preparation for the following season. While it will certainly make him rusty against competition, it surely will give him the chance to recover fully and play his full potential.
Chicago Bulls superstar Derrick Rose is a perfect example. Rose has been taking longer to recover from his torn ACL. He hasn’t played for a year and a half. He may not even have the explosiveness he once had before going down.
Noel was expected to be a future franchise player before his injury. He fell five spots to the sixth pick after the other five teams realized his injury was too much of a risk to take on.
Though this is a comment from Noel and not the Sixers’ team doctor, they should bite the bullet and shut down Noel for the season, especially if they are in the Andrew Wiggins sweepstakes.