LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- Kentucky freshman Nerlens Noel is out for the rest of the season with a torn ligament in his left knee.
Noel tore his ACL on Tuesday night when No. 25 Kentucky lost at Florida. An MRI on Wednesday revealed the injury.
The 6-foot-10 forward will have surgery in the two or three weeks. The projected recovery period is six to eight months.
Noel was hurt with 8 minutes left in the Wildcats' 69-52 loss to No. 7 Florida. He ran into the basket support after blocking a layup from behind. Noel landed awkwardly, dropped to the floor and started screaming while clutching his knee.
"I’ve been coaching for 22 years and this is the first injury we’ve had of this kind during the season, which makes it even more devastating," said Calipari. "I met with Nerlens earlier today. The meeting was really positive, and I loved his attitude. The way he is already dealing with this injury lets me know that he is going to come back stronger than ever."
"The good news is he is insured, so he would have been fine even if the injury would have been worse," Calipari continued. "Obviously this is not a career-ending injury and it’s one that athletes bounce back from all the time."