Photo by Malinda Adams/ESPN
Andy Katz spent the past few days by Nerlens Noel’s side during the NBA Draft Lottery festivities, and wrote a lengthy profile of the flat top feller for ESPN last night. In it, Katz follows Nerlens’ rehab, which is happening down at Dr. James Andrews’ Champion Sports Medicine Center in Birmingham. Katz interviews Nerlen’s physical therapist Kevin Wilk, who says Nerlens is three to four weeks ahead of schedule in his rehab:
“Nerlens is three or four weeks ahead of most people with an ACL injury,” Wilk said Tuesday after putting him through a series of strengthening and stretching exercises. “He doesn’t have any swelling, no pain, has a nice dry knee and everything has been smooth.”
Earlier this week, we showed you a video of Nerlens’ first day back on the court to start shooting drills, and Wilk says the projected number one pick’s next step is working on jumping and landing before he can begin scrimmaging. NBA doctors will evaluate Nerlens this weekend, and with a good report, Cleveland will likely have no problem taking him first.
Nerlens told Katz that he has no regrets about his decision to go pro early: “It has been surreal. It’s crazy. I could be graduating high school right now, walking out on stage. I definitely made the best decision for myself. My year at Kentucky was the best year I’ve ever had.”
Here is Noel’s interview with ESPN shortly after the Cavs were awarded the first pick in the NBA draft. He told Andy Katz he cherished every moment at Kentucky and learned so much under Coach Cal. “I’m very fortunate,” he said.