Nerlens Noel is stretched out on a training table at the Champion Sports Medicine rehabilitation center, watching ESPN's Chris Broussard discussing his NBA future.

Noel, the former Kentucky center, is projected as the No. 1 pick in the draft despite the torn left knee ligament that landed him here after surgery by the renowned Dr. James Andrews 11 weeks ago.

"He may not be back until Christmas ... if at all," Broussard says of Noel's upcoming rookie season.

Noel, who is sipping a protein shake after putting in a hard two hours in his first session of the day, shakes his head.

"They don't know," he says, softly.

By they, he means anybody who isn't watching as many as six hours of rehab a day, at least six days a week at the facility Andrews recommended, with additional non-jumping shooting drills for at least an hour a day and twice that much on weekends. If the Cavaliers take the 19-year-old Noel with the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft on June 27, he wants to do everything he can to be ready to play as soon as possible, though that likely won't be until Christmas, as Broussard reported.

"I'm being careful with the process," Noel said while icing his knee during a break. "It just takes time to come back. Whenever I'm ready, I'll come back. I want to make sure I'll be able to contribute right away to whatever team I go to.

"I feel great. I'm moving well. There's obviously limitations to it. I'm just listening to Kevin and doing what I need to do so I can come back as strong as possible."

"Kevin" is associate clinical director Kevin Wilk, who is overseeing Noel's rehabilitation.

"He's ahead of schedule," Wilk said. "His motion is fantastic. His muscle is coming back. I think he's doing fantastic. I don't think he could be doing any better.

"He always wants to do more."

Noel typically arrives at the center about 10 a.m. every morning. Last Thursday, he was one of about 30 patients sitting or lying on training tables around the outside of a large room surrounding all the typical weight training equipment -- stationary bikes, weight machines, free weights, balls, bands. The walls are decorated with framed and signed jerseys of athletes who have been through here -- Peyton Manning, Chris Webber and Penny Hardaway back in the day.

Wearing a plain white T-shirt, black Adidas shorts with red trim and black and red Air Jordans, Noel checks his phone while getting treatment, then gets to work on a series of routines designed to restore his strength and agility.

He will do as many as 20 different exercises -- three sets of 10 repetitions each. There are basics such as leg presses, wall squats or lunges, then more complicated moves where he'll stand on a balance board or ball and try to bend forward on one leg or try to catch or pass a ball on one leg.