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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Sixers could be adding a lottery pick to the lineup, and sooner than next season.

ESPN reports that Sixers center Nerlens Noel has been cleared by Dr. James Andrews to resume basketball related activities, and could return shortly after the All-Star break. Though the doctor has reportedly given him clearance to return to “on court drills,” the team still must clear Noel.

The Sixers selected Noel with the 6th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, after acquiring his rights in a trade with the New Orleans Pelicans for point guard Jrue Holiday. Noel was widely believed to go first overall in the draft, even after tearing his ACL.

“He is doing excellent and the team is taking good care of him,” Andrews told ESPN.com on Wednesday.

Noel tore his ACL in February, and it was believed Noel may not return to the Sixers this season.

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