The Kentucky Wildcats must now move forward after the news Wednesday that star freshman Nerlens Noel will be out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL in his left knee. He sustained the injury in Tuesday nights game against Florida in the second-half.
Noel had an x-ray on his knee in Gainesville Tuesday night, which was negative for any break. He later had an MRI done in Lexington, KY. Wednesday morning, which showed the tear in his ACL.
Coach John Calipari made this statement shortly after the diagnosis was released:
I’ve been coaching for 22 years and this is the first injury we’ve had of this kind during the season, which makes it even more devastating. I met with Nerlens earlier today. The meeting was really positive, and I loved his attitude. The way he is already dealing with this injury lets me know that he is going to come back stronger than ever. The good news is he is insured, so he would have been fine even if the injury would have been worse. Obviously this is not a career-ending injury and it’s one that athletes bounce back from all the time.
Noel also received a message via Twitter from former Kentucky star Derek Anderson, who assured the young big man that he would be there for him.
@nerlensnoel3 I’m headed to Kentucky NOW to help you get thru this. This will make u much stronger, physically & Mentally. C u Soon LIL Bro
— Derek L. Anderson(@DerekLAnderson) February 13, 2013
Kentucky still has a lot of games left and is hoping to move up to a quality ranking in the NCAA tournament. It will be up to the other players to get them there, especially center Willie Cauley-Stein.
Noel has made a statement if he is planning on coming back next season to Kentucky, but most believe he will still go to this year’s NBA draft.
The Wildcats must play another road game Saturday against Tennessee.
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