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Nerlens Noel works with Roy Hibbert, hopes to return by Christmas

Andrew Bynum set a lot of comeback dates that never quite came to fruition; the Sixers franchise is hoping that it won't be the same with Nerlens Noel.

Noel, the piece the team traded all-star Jrue Holiday to acquire, has the potential to be an explosive and dominant defensive player, but there was certainly some gamble involved in acquiring a kid who had a serious knee surgery before his 19th birthday.

Sixer fans are obviously eager to see the former Kentucky Wildcat out on the court, but as of now a debut date has not been discussed, although Noel still hopes to return by Christmas, according to

"I feel great. I'm really starting to feel like my old self, being able to have my explosiveness. But I'm definitely being careful with it," Noel stated.

While there is absolutely no need to rush Noel back into on-court action considering the Sixers intentions to struggle, it would still be nice to get a small sampling of what he may be able to do on the NBA level.

Noel is doing his best to keep a positive outlook on the situation, even though the injury cost him a chance at being the first overall pick in the draft, and the money that comes along with it.

"I definitely feel the injury is a blessing in disguise, and I feel that Philly is perfect as to my style, and definitely my playing style. I'm just always playing hard, working for everything and, of course, the city of Philadelphia itself having the die-hard fans they do and just being a blue-collar city."

Fitting in is nice, but it is safe to say that fans are more concerned with seeing him out on the court; understandable considering that the last center with injury issues the Sixers gambled on didn't log a single second.

Noel understands the apprehensive excitement and is extremely eager to get back out there himself, but he knows not to rush things.

"In rehab, I would just think how bad I want to get on the court because of how much I want to prove to myself that I can get back and be the player I want to be," Noel stated, before adding:

"I want to be 100 percent confident not only physically, but mentally coming back from it."

Although it may be difficult, when it comes to Noel Sixers fans need to practice patience. He will likely pay future dividends for the franchise, and his return shouldn't be rushed because of the bad taste left by Bynum.

By enlisting budding stud center Roy Hibbert to help him develop his low-post game Noel is demonstrating his desire not only to return, but to be better.

"With my work ethic and my focus, I can develop an offensive game," Noel pledged.

While adding an offensive arsenal would append an incredible amount of value and versatility to his game, for now it will just be nice to see him out on the court in a Sixers uniform, whenever that may be.