B. Sevald/Einstein/Getty Images
Philadelphia 76ers center Nerlens Noel has been sidelined with another injury, this time a sprained ankle, the team announced Monday.
Continued for updates.
Noel Ruled Out vs. Milwaukee
Monday, Jan. 16
A left ankle sprain will keep Noel off the court for Monday’s battle against the Milwaukee Bucks. He picked up the injury in Saturday’s game against the Washington Wizards but did not leave the game.
Injuries have been a problem for him throughout his short career. He missed his entire first season in the NBA while recovering from a torn ACL in college. He then missed 22 games over the next two years with various issues.
The problems continued into this year, as knee surgery sidelined the 22-year-old at the start of the season.
It took some time for him to earn a spot in the rotation, but he has since found his role. Noel is averaging 7.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in 13 games since returning to the lineup in December.
When he is on the court, Noel has lived up to his billing as an elite defensive big man. He finished with averages of more than eight rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.5 blocks per game in each of his first two seasons, showcasing his versatility and production on that end of the court.
Although he is still developing his offensive game, the 6’11” player has plenty of value regardless of how many points he can score.
As an impending free agent, Noel is now demonstrating his ability to the entire league, though the latest injury only increases concerns about his durability.
The latest issue will leave more opportunities for Joel Embiid, who has become a star this season in his first NBA action. Jahlil Okafor should also earn significant playing time as he did earlier in the year with Noel on the sidelines.