Nerlens Noel Cleared For Basketball Activities

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(Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

(Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – You won’t see him in the Sixers starting lineup any time soon, but first round pick Nerlens Noel is going to be doing more on the court.

The overall sixth pick of the 2013 NBA Draft, Noel, has been cleared by Dr. James Andrews to take the next step in his rehab from ACL surgery last February. That means more on court work for Noel, who the Sixers traded point guard Jrue Holiday for on draft night. The Sixers also received a top-five protected first round pick in the 2014 draft from the New Orleans Pelicans.

“Since his arrival in Philadelphia, Nerlens’ capacity for work both in his rehab and in our weight room has been incredible. Our sports performance and training staff have been extremely complimentary of his efforts thus far during this methodical rehab process,” Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie said in a statement.

“After careful consideration and numerous discussions with our medical and performance teams, the consulting physician and rehabilitation staff, and Nerlens’ representatives, some of the restrictions on Nerlens have been lifted and he is now able to participate in limited on-court work,” Hinkie said. “There are several benchmarks Nerlens still must meet, and during that time we will closely monitor his progress and regularly evaluate his status. Our goal remains the same, which is to give Nerlens every opportunity to ensure a long, productive NBA career.”

A report Wednesday suggested that Noel could return to the Sixers in 4-6 weeks, but head coach Brett Brown challenged that timeline Wednesday night.

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