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Everett product Nerlens Noel injured in Kentucky’s loss to Florida

02.13.13 at 9:59 am ET
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Kentucky freshman forward Nerlens Noel, an Everett native, went down with a knee injury in the No. 25 Wildcats’ 69-52 loss to No. 7 Florida on Tuesday.

Noel, the nation’s leading shot-blocker, hurt his knee when he landed awkwardly on it with about eight minutes left in the game. His teammates carried him to the locker room, and he was taken to a campus hospital for tests after the game.

“I’m physically sick right now for him,” Kentucky coach John Calipari said. “What I’m hoping is it’s not the extreme. I’m hoping it’s some sort of twist, but we don’t know.”

Noel has averaged 10.6 points, 9.6 rebounds and 4.5 blocks a game in his rookie season with the Wildcats. He has been projected to be one of the top picks in the 2013 NBA draft, assuming he decided to go pro.

“I don’t know how badly he’s hurt, but the energy came from a hustle play,” Florida coach Billy Donovan said. “It kind of embodies who he is as a player. He’s a hustle-play guy, and you just feel sad if there’s any kind of length or duration that he’s out because everybody admires, in this league, coaches-wise, how he plays the game.”