Noel still recovering from knee injury sustained last year.
Philadelphia 76ers coach Brett Brown has revealed that first-round draft pick Nerlens Noel is likely to sit out the entire season.
The 19-year-old had surgery to repair the ACL in his left knee back in March, after he initially suffered the injury during a game for the Kentucky Wildcats last season.
While the doctor who carried out the operation insists that Noel is ahead of schedule in terms of his rehabilitation, the 76ers are keen to avoid harming what they see as a long-term investment.
His initial timetable suggested that he may be out for around six to eight months which would have allowed him to return half-way through the season, but Brown has dismissed that idea.
“I doubt, everybody doubts that he’s going to play this year,” Brown said according to ESPN.
“We don’t want to waste this year. I think from a skill perspective, it’s an opportunity for us to break down his shot, really work on his free throws and start a little bit from ground zero.”
Noel was the No.6 overall pick in the 2013 Draft, but he was traded to the 76ers as part of an exchange deal which took Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans.
While it was believed that Noel perhaps fell down the pecking order after suffering his knee injury, Philadelphia have made a conscious effort to clear the books in order to build for the future.
As a result, it is clear that the franchise see Noel as a vital part of that and are looking to help to improve him over the next 12 months as they look ahead to strengthening further next summer.