According to ESPN, Denver Nuggets first round pick Michael Porter Jr. is pain free following his second back surgery and hopes to be back on the court at the start of the 2018-19 season.
In an interview conducted at the NBA’s annual rookie photo shoot, Porter described his health as, “I finally feel, like, good.” Porter continued adding that, “I don’t have a date but I’m hoping to be back for the beginning of the year. Gotta heal up, but I feel great.”
Porter is hoping to be ready for game action when the season begins in mid-October, and notes the Nuggets patience in his return to the court.
“I’m able to get on the court a little bit right now, do some different things. But my rehab has definitely been very conservative. They’re really taking it easy with me, being patient with me.”
In just one collegiate season at the University of Missouri, Porter was forced to undergo a microdiscectomy just one game into his freshman season. What ended up being a four month recovery, Porter played in the Tigers final two games of the year, one in the SEC Tournament (12 points, 8 rebounds) and one in the NCAA tournament (16 points, 10 rebounds). Even with just three collegiate games under his belt, Porter entered the NBA draft where he’d fall into the Nuggets lap at the 14th selection.
After undergoing a second spinal surgery in July, the Nuggets came out saying that Porter had “no timetable” for his return to the court. In both cases, Porter and his camp have voiced their confidence that he’ll be ready at the start of next season, and him being pain free is certainly a step in the right direction.
“[Doctors originally] only thought one of [the bulging disks] was symptomatic,” said Porter. “They went in and fixed that one. Turns out that both were symptomatic. So my first surgery helped a lot but didn’t fix the entire problem. Now that they did this one, I’ve got no pain or anything. I’m excited.”