Amile Jefferson's 20115-16 season was cut short, but just short enough for him to get another shot at a national championship.
The ACC approved a medical hardship waiver for Jefferson Friday, officially making the Philadelphia native eligible to return for a fifth season in 2016-17.
The forward suffered a fractured right foot in practice Dec. 12 and missed the rest of the season, confined to the sidelines in a walking boot and crutches for much of that time. To receive a medical hardship waiver, a player must play in fewer than 30 percent of a team's games before sustaining the injury—Jefferson saw action in just nine of Duke's 36 contests.
Prior to his injury, the captain averaged a double-double of 11.4 points and 10.3 rebounds per contest in the first nine games of the season. The Blue Devils missed his presence on both ends of the floor, particularly on the glass, where they were outmuscled—often severely—in most of their losses.
With Jefferson returning to the floor, Duke will have a dangerous frontcourt next season, placing 6-foot-10 Harry Giles—the top-ranked recruit in the Class of 2016—alongside the 6-foot-9 Jefferson down low. Giles, though, is also coming off an injury after tearing his ACL last fall.
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