Sixers' Noel unlikely to play this season

Philadelphia, PA ( - The Philadelphia 76ers may be without rookie center Nerlens Noel for the entire 2013-14 season.

Head coach Brett Brown indicated on Monday that Noel, who tore his ACL last February while playing for the Kentucky Wildcats, may not be ready to play this season. Early reports were that Noel could return to the court as early as Christmas.

Noel was the sixth overall pick in the NBA Draft last June. Originally selected by the New Orleans Pelicans, he was sent to Philadelphia on a draft- night deal along with a 2014 first round pick for All-Star point guard Jrue Holiday.

Noel averaged 10.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, 4.4 blocks and 2.1 steals per game in his only season in Lexington and was considered a candidate for the top overall pick before suffering his knee injury.