***UPDATE (10:20 AM Wednesday): No fracture and no break for Nerlens Noel after an X-Ray, per Andy Katz. Still awaiting an MRI slated for later today.***
Kentucky coach John Calipari is hoping Nerlens Noel’s injury is not the worst possible outcome.
“I’m physically sick right now for him,” Calipari said, according to Kyle Tucker of the Louisville Courier-Journal. “What I’m hoping for is it’s not the extreme. I’m hoping it’s just a twist.”
Kentucky officials said Noel was taken to Shands Hospital on the University of Florida campus for further tests and will return to Lexington, Ky., with the team, according to reports.
The 6-foot-10 Noel suffered a left knee injury as he raced back on a fastbreak to attempt to block a shot by Florida’s Mike Rosario in Florida’s 69-52 victory. After banging his knee on the basket brace, he screamed in pain and was carried off the court by his teammates.
“If you think about it (Noel’s) injury came from a hustle play and it embodies who he is as a player,” Florida coach Billy Donovan told reporters. “ ”I admire the way he plays and I admire his energy.”
“Nerlens has been separating himself from the pack,” one NBA scout recently told SNY.tv. “He has taken his shot-blocking to another level. He’s the best interior defender in the game.”