When the Sacramento Kings drafted Harry Giles with the 20th pick, it was with the knowledge that he came with a lot of baggage. Giles has had three knee surgeries since 2013, the most recent of which came just about a year ago (although that was more of a minor procedure compared to his two previous ones).
While Giles has indicated publicly that he is ready to play, the Kings aren’t willing to risk it just yet. In a press release today, the Kings announced that they would be waiting until January before allowing Giles to play in games, either for the Kings or Reno Bighorns. While this seems at odds with Giles’ declarations that he’s healthy, it lines up with previous precautionary steps the Kings have taken with Giles, such as not allowing him to play in Summer League.
Giles will still be practicing with the team, and he hasn’t re-injured his knee in any way. Recent studies have indicated that to fully heal from an ACL tear requires at least two years of rehab, and Giles tore his ACL in November of 2015. Waiting until January before allowing Giles to see game action will give him plenty of time to continue building up strength in that knee.
It’s a bit disappointing that we won’t get to see Giles actually play for a while, but hopefully it’s some short-term pain for long-term gain. Giles was one of the most sought after high school recruits before his knee injury, and if he can come back healthier than ever, that skill and talent will hopefully shine once more and the Kings will have themselves a steal. But all that skill and talent is for naught if he comes back too soon and re-injures himself. Better to be safe than sorry.