Nerlens Noel injury: 76ers rookie may miss season with torn ACL

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Sixers could be without first round pick Nerlens Noel this season.

Philadelphia 76ers rookie center Nerlens Noel may miss the entire 2013-14 season with a torn ACL suffered in February as a member of the Kentucky Wildcats. Sixers coach Brett Brown suggested to reporters on Monday that rehab on Noel's ACL has been slow and that he could miss his entire rookie campaign. Brown told reporters he doubts Noel sees the court this season.

Despite the ACL injury, Noel was drafted with the No. 6 overall pick in this summer's draft by the New Orleans Pelicans. Noel was then traded to Philadelphia along with a first round pick in the 2014 draft and the rights to Pierre Jackson for point guard Jrue Holiday. Noel and fellow rookie Michael Carter-Williams were signed to contracts in September and are expected to be a big part of the new-look 76ers moving forward.

The possibility of losing Noel for the entire season comes just one year after fellow center Andrew Bynum spent the entire 2012 season on the bench with a knee injury of his own. Philadelphia is pretty obviously set for a rebuidling year, so they could afford to let Noel rehab the entire season without any pressure to compete. There is precedent for sitting a full season with an torn ACL. Bulls star Derrick Rose sat out all of last season after tearing his ACL in the first game of the 2012 playoffs.

Update: Noel's agent says 'there have been no decisions made at this time.'

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