NCAA BK

Calipari: Noel improving after surgery

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP)

Kentucky center Nerlens Noel is ''doing fine'' after surgery on his left knee to repair a torn ACL.

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Wildcats coach John Calipari provided the update Wednesday in a post on his Facebook account Wednesday. He said Noel called him after Tuesday's operation, which was performed by famed orthopedic surgeon James Andrews in Gulf Breeze, Fla. The coach said the surgery ''went well'' for the 6-foot-10 freshman, who sustained the season-ending injury in a loss at Florida on Feb. 12.

Noel's call was placed on speakerphone so he could talk to his Wildcats teammates, who begin play Friday in the Southeastern Conference tournament as the No. 2 seed. Calipari said ''it was great for his teammates to hear from him after surgery, and I think it helped Nerlens, too.''

Noel's rehabilitation is expected to take six to eight months. Projected as an NBA Draft lottery pick, his pro prospects played a major role in the surgery's timing and Andrews performing it.

Considered the nation's top recruit last year, Noel averaged 10.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and a nation-leading 4.42 blocks per game en route to being voted the SEC's Freshman and Defensive Player of the Year by league coaches. He also was a first team All-Conference selection and was one of four Wildcats on the All-Freshman team.

Tagged: Kentucky

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