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VIDEO: Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel injures knee vs. Florida

Feb 12, 2013, 8:54 PM EDT

The nation’s leading shot blocker, Kentucky freshman Nerlens Noel, left Tuesday’s 69-52 loss to No. 7 Florida with what appeared to be a knee injury and had to be carried to the locker room by teammates and team personnel.

With 8:03 to play in the second half and his team trailing by 12 points, 57-45, Noel chased down Florida senior Mike Rosario in transition and blocked his shot. As he came down, he appeared to land awkwardly and went down in pain while grabbing his left knee.

Television cameras picked up audio of Noel yelling in pain as he clutched the knee and he remained on the ground in pain for a time while team doctors evaluated him. Guards Archie Goodwin and Julius Mays helped Noel to the tunnel as he was surrounded by teammates. Noel was unable to put weight on the knee.

(WARNING: This video isn’t the easiest to watch if you hate hearing kids screaming in pain):

Here’s a picture of the injury from

Prior to the injury against Florida, Noel had tallied eight points, six rebounds, and three blocks. If tests ultimately show that Noel will be forced out of the Kentucky lineup with this injury, it would change the overall complexion of the Wildcats’ defense. His ability to block and alter shots has been central to Kentucky’s resurgence in SEC play.

Noel leads the country with 4.7 blocks per game and is projected to be a Top 3 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.

At the press conference after the game, Coach Cal said that he didn’t see the injury, but heard it was bad, according to his website’s twitter feed. “I’m physically sick right now for him,” Cal said. “What I’m hoping for is it’s not the extreme.” Noel’s been taken to the hospital to have tests done, and Cal said he hopes Noel will go home with the team tonight.

Patric Young had an even grimmer outlook. “His leg was wobbly,” he told Jason Lieser, the Florida beat writer for the Palm Beach Post, “knee looked dislocated. It was gruesome. I don’t want to think about it.”

More updates will be added as they become available.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_

  1. throwmetheidol - Feb 12, 2013 at 9:26 PM

    I hope and pray he is ok. Not matter who I am fan of or what teams I cheer for. I never want to see anyone get hurt.

    • mazblast - Feb 12, 2013 at 10:10 PM

      Second that. I loathe Calipari and UK, but I hate seeing kids get hurt even more.

      I was watching the game at a local resutaurant, and when that play happened, I could hear low voices all over the place saying, “Oh sh**!”

  2. florida727 - Feb 13, 2013 at 9:21 AM

    I’m a Florida fan and yeah I’m glad we won, blah, blah, blah. But watching this kid go down really put a damper on the excitement of winning the game. If what Patric Young said proves to be true, it could alter his pro career, which would be a shame, especially because he made such a great effort and play to block the shot in the first place. I’ve always thought that the speed at which these guys play put them at risk because the basket standards and the photography media are simply too close to the court for the players’ own safety. I hope Patric Young is wrong, and it proves to be an injury he can quickly recover from. Seems like too nice a kid to have something like this happen to him.

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