Thunder center Noel out of hospital after sustaining concussion
Oklahoma City Thunder center Nerlens Noel has been released from hospital after suffering a concussion in a scary fall during Tuesday's game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Noel was knocked unconscious after Andrew Wiggins' elbow hit him in the face and he then banged the side of his on the floor, having contested a dunk midway through the third quarter of the 119-117 loss.
The 24-year-old was removed from the court in a neck brace on a stretcher before being held overnight at OU Hospital for tests and observations.
He has entered the NBA's concussion protocol and there is no timeline for his return, the Thunder confirmed on Wednesday.
Nerlens Noel Medical Update.— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) January 9, 2019
•Suffered a concussion.
•Has been released from the hospital.
•Has been placed in the NBA’s concussion protocol.
•No predetermined timetable to complete the protocol
Full news release: https://t.co/NeKnkr4ZeI
Speaking about the incident after the game, Wiggins said: "I just tried to make an aggressive move and dunk.
"He tried to contest it. I think he fell wrong. I didn't really see it until I saw him on the ground.
"Hopefully he's good. I hope nothing but the best for him. I hope he gets healthy soon and comes back stronger."
My prayers out to you @NerlensNoel3— andrew wiggins (@22wiggins) January 9, 2019
Thunder center Steven Adams did not believe Wiggins intentionally tried to hurt Noel.
"It was just … unfortunate that it happened," Adams said. "Obviously, Wiggins didn't mean to do any of that. He shouldn't be taking any blame for that whatsoever.
"It's just one of those crazy plays that happen. Fortunately, they responded quite quickly, the medical staff. We felt like he was in the best hands at the time."
Noel is averaging 5.1 points and 4.6 rebounds per game in 2018-19.