Michael Porter Jr. on chances he returns this year: ‘It’s too early to tell’

Michael Porter Jr., Missouri Athletics
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Speaking to the media for the first time since having surgery on his back, Michael Porter Jr. did lend any clarity to the discussion of whether or not he will be able to return to a basketball court for Missouri this season.

“Right now it’s too early to tell,” he said. “This is the type of injury where I’ll feel good before I’m allowed to play because a lot of healing starts to occur.”

“Everybody’s different with this injury, their recovery time,” Porter added. “So I’m doing everything I can to recover as quick as I can. I’ll feel 100 percent before my back really is 100 percent. Eventually I’ll be 150 percent because I’ll be playing without the pain and limitations I had before.”

Porter said he initially suffered the injury two years ago during a practice with the Mo-Kan elite AAU team that he and Trae Young played for. He went up for a dunk and got knocked off balance, landing flat on his back. He’s been playing in pain ever since, which is part of the reason that the family opted to do this surgery.

“I kind of forgot what it’s like to play normal,” Porter said.

Missouri head coach Cuonzo Martin said he was not aware of the injury when Porter arrived on campus in large part due to the fact that he did not recruit Porter all that heavily out of high school. Martin got the Missouri job around the same time that Lorenzo Romar was fired at Washington and the Porters reopened their recruitment.

Porter underwent a microdiscectomy of the L3-L4 spinal discs on Nov. 22nd.