Sacramento Kings

Kings’ Harry Giles III has MRI after sore knee keeps him home from NBA India games

An MRI on Kings center Harry Giles III’s left knee revealed no new structural damage, team officials told The Sacramento Bee on Tuesday.

The Kings announced late Monday night Giles would not accompany the team to India due to a sore left knee, alarming fans who have warmly embraced Giles as he worked his way back from a series of devastating injuries. The news wasn’t good, but it could have been worse.

“A precautionary MRI was conducted on Monday morning which revealed no new findings,” the team said in a written statement provided to The Bee.

The Kings took 16 of the 20 players on their training camp roster to India to play two preseason games against the Indiana Pacers on Friday and Saturday. Guard Tyler Ulis remained in Sacramento with a right groin strain. Small forward Isaiah Pineiro and center Eric Mika also stayed home.

The news about Giles comes days after he declared himself healthy and “ready to ball.” Giles, once considered the nation’s top prospect and a potential No. 1 draft pick, missed considerable time in high school and college and sat out his first NBA season after tearing ligaments in both knees.

Giles appeared in 58 games last season, averaging 7.0 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 14.1 minutes per contest before missing the last 11 games with a left thigh contusion. The Kings also held Giles out of summer league action in Sacramento and Las Vegas, but the team said that decision was not injury related.

Kings coach Luke Walton said Sunday the team was still monitoring Giles, but Giles responded rather vehemently when asked if he was still in the rehabilitation process.

“No,” Giles said. “I’m ready to ball, baby.”

Giles tore the ACL, MCL and meniscus in his left knee in 2013. He tore his right ACL at the start of his high school senior year in 2015. He underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee to clean up loose cartilage and scar tissue in October 2016, causing him to miss the start of his freshman season at Duke.

Giles appeared in 26 games at Duke, averaging 3.9 points and 3.8 rebounds in 11.5 minutes per game. The Kings selected Giles with the 20th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, taking a chance on a player who could become a key piece of Sacramento’s future if he realizes his enormous potential.

Sacramento Kings preseason schedule

Friday: vs. Indiana Pacers, 6:30 a.m. (India)

Saturday: vs. Indiana Pacers, 6:30 a.m. (India)

Oct. 10 vs. Phoenix Suns, 7 p.m.

Oct. 14 at Utah Jazz, 6 p.m.

Oct. 16 vs. Melbourne United, 7 p.m.

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Jason Anderson is an award-winning sportswriter for The Sacramento Bee. He started his journalism career at The Bee more than 20 years ago and returned to cover the Sacramento Kings in September 2018.