LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Nerlens Noel continues to take small steps toward returning to the court following surgery on his left knee.
He's shed his crutches and exercising without a knee brace. Though he wouldn't specify want types of exercises, it's all signs his recovery is ahead of schedule -- and each stride is important with the NBA Draft looming.
Noel said Tuesday he's "doing good" after the March 12 operation to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament. The 6-foot-10 center expects to return to the court by Christmas, a long road back likely to involve countless hours rehabbing in an NBA facility.
Noel likely won't stay long on teams' draft boards and could become Kentucky's third No. 1 overall pick in four years at the June 27 event in New York.