Now, he just needs to be cleared by the Sixers before he can play in a game.
That's where things get dicey.
Until Tuesday, Noel's workouts have consisted mostly of taking one-handed set shots under the supervision of coach Brett Brown and/or player development coach Greg Foster.
The source close to the situation said he believes that Andrews wants credit for putting Noel in position to return to the court, regardless of whether he is ready to return.
The Sixers say they don't know when Noel will return.
"There are so many different layers to this," Brown said before Wednesday's game against the Charlotte Bobcats at the Wells Fargo Center. "To get all excited now about a time line that has been put out would not be a wise thing to do. It's going to take a lot more boxes [to check]. He's progressing well. But there really isn't a definitive time line."
There's a thought that the Sixers don't want to rush Noel onto the court and would be content if he missed the entire season. In October, Brown said Noel was not likely to play this season.
However, Brown said Tuesday that Noel was making improvement. He also said that the 19-year-old participated in one-on-one drills with Foster on Tuesday. Noel is not ready to face teammates one-on-one, Brown said.
"There are several benchmarks Nerlens still must meet, and during that time we will closely monitor his progress and regularly evaluate his status." general manager Sam Hinkie said. "Our goal remains the same, which is to give Nerlens every opportunity to ensure a long, productive NBA career."
Brown said he really doesn't know if Noel will play at all this season.
"He's [checking off] boxes at a rate that we had hoped," Brown said. "You know he's moving there. But to project anything or guess anything - that's all I would be doing is taking a wild-shot guess."
Brown added that selfishly he wants Noel to play this season to get games under his belt. The Sixers just want to make sure that the rookie steps onto the court with the proper fitness. There's also the fear of risking further injury by rushing him back too soon.
"We are not going to recklessly put him on a stage and expect results," Brown said. "To think he's going to go from one-handed shooting [to] guarding Tim Duncan in a six-week period is kind of ambitious."