Michael Porter Jr. was supposed to be one of the most exciting freshmen in the 2017-18 college basketball season, but an injury to his back during his first game at Missouri has sidelined him for the entire season.
Porter, a former 5-star recruit, would like to get back on the floor and help his Tigers team as soon as possible.
“If it were up to me I’d love to get a couple games under my belt before postseason play,” Porter said at a news conference Friday, per Dave Matter.
The Tigers are 16-8 overall and 6-5 in SEC play and are a near lock to make the NCAA Tournament. They have seven games remaining in the regular season. For Porter, it is all about getting reps before the serious business in March — starting with the SEC Tournament, which begins March 7 in St. Louis.
For that to happen, Porter will have to get cleared by a doctor. Porter said he thinks he will visit the doctor again next week.
The injury in November required surgery, with Porter going under the knife Nov. 22 for a microdiscectomy of his L3-L4 spinal discs. The rehab process has gone well, but he has not been able to take part in practice yet.
“I’m feeling really good. I’m rehabbing every day,” Porter said.
Porter originally was committed to Washington, but the combination of the firing of Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar, Porter’s father joining the Missouri staff as an assistant coach, and his brother, Jontay Porter, committing to the Tigers changed his mind.
While being on the sidelines has to be rough for the star, he has enjoyed watching his teammates’ success this season.
“I would love to play again, but I’m just having a great time watching the guys,” Porter said.
As for the possibility of re-injuring himself when he comes back, the 2017 Mr. Basketball USA and McDonald’s All-American said, “I have zero concerns.”