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Thunder center Nerlens Noel out of concussion protocol

January 17, 2019
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Oklahoma City Thunder forward Nerlens Noel is attended to after an injury during the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019. Noel was taken off the court. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Thunder reserve center Nerlens Noel has passed through concussion protocol and was available for Thursday night’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

A Thunder spokesman made the announcement Thursday.

Noel was injured Jan. 8 when he collided with Minnesota’s Andrew Wiggins and his head hit the floor. The team said Noel lost consciousness while being knocked to the floor. He was down for several minutes before being taken from the court on a stretcher. Noel was held overnight at the University of Oklahoma’s hospital for tests and observations and was released the next day.

Noel has been a critical reserve for the Thunder this season, averaging 5.1 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 14 minutes per contest. The Thunder have lost two of three without him.

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