Sidelines with John Clay

Harry Giles’ latest knee surgery raises questions about Duke basketball freshman

Duke recruit Harry Giles, right, clowns around with former Duke players Quinn Cook, left, and Rodney Hood during the Coach K Academy at the Duke basketball facility in Durham, N.C. Wednesday, June 1, 2016.
Duke recruit Harry Giles, right, clowns around with former Duke players Quinn Cook, left, and Rodney Hood during the Coach K Academy at the Duke basketball facility in Durham, N.C. Wednesday, June 1, 2016. Raleigh News and Observer

The knee problems continue for Duke’s most high-profile recruit.

The school announced Monday that heralded 6-foot-10 freshman center Harry Giles underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Monday. He is expected to be out six weeks.

“We’re very pleased with the outcome of today’s procedure,” Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a statement. “This is the right step for Harry at the moment as it will help him be 100 percent going forward. Harry has done a tremendous job in rehabilitation over the last year and I’m sure he’ll continue to do the same after this procedure.”

Dr. Claude T. Moorman, head team physician, performed the surgery at the Duke University Medical Center.

Duke holds its “Countdown to Craziness” on Oct. 22 before opening the season Nov. 11 against Marist. The Blue Devils play Kansas IN the Champions Classic at New York’s Madison Square Garden on Nov. 15. Kentucky plays Michigan State that night in the same event.

This is far from the first knee procedure for Giles. He has torn the ACL in both knees, starting with the left knee and then, in the first game for Oak Hill Academy last year his right knee. He also tore the meniscus in his left knee.

Rob Dauster of College Basketball Talk writes, “With these latest knee issues, one has to wonder whether or not that is a real possibility. If his knees aren’t healthy, if he only has so many miles left on them, is it worth it to waste those games when he’s not getting paid millions of NBA dollars? And if he’s not healthy and he does play, will he hurt his draft stock as he wears off the rust of two knee surgeries in two years?”

Matt Norlander of CBS Sports writes, “Giles’ NBA draft stock/reputation is about to get picked over and heavily debated for the next eight months. Duke is not going to jeopardize Giles’ NBA potential, not with three knee surgeries on his dossier. So expect Giles to essentially be on a “pitch count,” if you will, whenever he does come back. Three knee surgeries for a big man, a guy with No. 1-overall-in-the-draft talent is a huge red flag, of course.”

Rivals ranked Giles as the No. 1 player overall in the Class of 2016 behind Kansas freshman Josh Jackson.

Duke does have plenty of front-court depth with senior Amile Jefferson as well as touted freshman forwards Jayson Tatum and Marques Bolden.

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