Pickerington High School Central boys basketball player Jeremiah Francis underwent microfracture surgery on his left knee Aug. 7, effectively ending the North Carolina commit’s prep career.

The surgery was performed in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, by Dr. Alexander Creighton, chief of orthopedic sports medicine at UNC Health Care.

“(Recovery) will take six to nine months,” Francis, a 6-foot-3 point guard, told ThisWeekSPORTS.com. “I’ll be back home (Aug. 10).”

Francis averaged 10.4 points, 4.5 assists and 4.2 rebounds as a freshman and 15.9 points, 4.2 assists and 3.7 rebounds as a sophomore, leading the Tigers to a 26-3 record and Division I regional championship.

Francis committed to North Carolina last August, underwent arthroscopic knee surgery Dec. 12 and originally expected to return in mid- to late January, but consistently experienced setbacks in his recovery. He dressed for several of Central’s postseason games but ultimately never played as the Tigers reached state for the second consecutive season, going 18-9 and losing to Solon 82-78 in a semifinal.

Francis’ father, former Central coach and Ohio State player Jerry Francis, told InsideCarolina.com that the family decided to let North Carolina doctors perform the surgery after the knee continued not to improve during workouts this summer in Columbus and Houston.

“It was another way for him to become more saturated in this beautiful (North Carolina) community and school,” Jerry Francis said. “If there’s anything from a rehabilitation standpoint, he’ll be working with his future doctors instead of a third party.”

dpurpura@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekDave