Mavericks’ Nerlens Noel expects to miss 4-6 weeks with thumb surgery

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Nerlens Noel is drawing more headlines for his questionable work ethic and eating a hot dog than anything he’s doing on the court.

So, the pending free agent is having thumb surgery now.

Eddie Sefko of The Dallas Morning News:

Noel will fly from Boston to Cleveland on Thursday to meet with a hand specialist and will have surgery Friday, the Mavericks said. He will likely miss about four to six weeks, but the hope is that Noel will be back on the court before the trade deadline.

“It’s not anything crazy,” Noel said. “It’s a pretty common injury for a basketball player. I’m just going to get it taken care of. I showed it to the trainers and they said, that it’s not right. They said I should probably get some surgery and get it fixed up now.

“I can play basketball with it. A couple guys in here have had it.”

Noel has had a rough time since rejecting a contract that would have paid $17.5 million annually. Instead, he signed his $4,187,599 qualifying last summer, making him an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Relations between Noel and the Mavericks appear to be souring, so it makes sense he’d want to get his thumb fixed while with Dallas. No reason to scare off potential suitors in free agency with a more-recent offseason surgery. Recover and maybe even impress one before the season ends.