Nerlens Noel Injury Update: Waiting, Patiently This Time

Kevin C. Cox

"I been patiently waiting for a track to explode on. You can stunt if you want, but your ass will get rolled on." - 50 Cent on Nerlens Noel.

The Sixers didn't draft a dropping Nerlens Noel in June because they expected him to contribute right away. Rushing recovery from a torn ACL is shortsighted on its own, but when you consider the 6-foot-11 teenager with a Stanley-Robinson-lollypop-baby-level of upside (VERY specific reference from 3 years ago) and the Grade A head trauma suffered from the Andrew Bynum fiasco last year, it's even more egregious.

It's no surprise the new Sixers regime of Sam Hinkie and Brett Brown don't plan on rushing Noel back anytime soon or really anytime at all.

"Right now, the stuff we are doing is not necessarily on the court," [Physical Trainer, Kevin] Wilk said. "He's got to get used to the court, cutting on the court. Used to playing defense one-on-one. Things of that nature.

"So it's probably going to get pushed a little further back, even though he looks like he's ready."

We've seen enough workout vids to know he exists and he's not just floating around on some mythical anti-gravity machine off the coast of Flamenco, Spain. Dude looks good. Dude's back up over 220. Dude can take all the time he needs. The word is at least December. But let's be real -- we in Tankadelphia are in no rush.

Because while we're all itching to see what the former AAU teammates Noel and Michael Carter-Williams can do together, I don't want to get my looks in until the Sixers are in a 40-game hole in 2014.

There's talk of him not playing at all this season. It's reasonable, but I get the feeling he'll still go out there for a few months. Being cautious is one thing -- and I love it -- but if a few more months go by and Nerlens is ostensibly as healthy as he's going to get, I bet they let him loose. At this point though, they're pretending like they don't even know what "timetable" means. Stark contrast from our weekly shmuckdates of yesteryear.

As the saying goes: Those who remember the past are bound to not have to deal with any more Bynum bullshit and maybe field a good team in 2017.

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