Friday night against the Hawks, Thunder big man Nerlens Noel took an incidental shot to the face and left the game. He went back to the locker room, had it checked out by the team medical staff, and returned to the game.
Turns out, he needed surgery to repair his face after the incident, the team announced.
Injury update: Nerlens Noel underwent a successful procedure to repair a fracture to the zygomatic arch of his left cheek. He will miss tonight’s game against the Minnesota Timberwolves and his status will be updated next week.
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) January 25, 2020
The zygomatic arch is the bone that connects the area around the eye to the rest of the skull, a smaller bone basically between the eye and the ear.
Noel is playing nearly 19 minutes a night for OKC averaging 8.2 points and 5.2 rebounds a game, plus shooting 67.8 percent (with 61.5 percent of his shots at the rim).