The Missouri basketball fan base got a great lift of hope last week when doctors cleared Michael Porter Jr. for all basketball activities.
But that clearance didn’t mean Porter, one of the top freshmen in the country and a likely lottery pick in this summer’s NBA draft, could play right away. He participated in a shootaround over the weekend against Kentucky, and Thursday his coach described what the process will be like for Porter to return to game action.
“Well, the bottom line with that is, [Thursday] will be Mike’s third real practice outside of two shootarounds before games,” Martin said on the Kevin Wheeler Show on 101 ESPN. “[Thursday] will be his third real practice. He’ll have a practice Friday. Then we’ll make a decision, I guess Friday night or Saturday if Mike’s ready to play.”
Here’s all of what Martin said, including the full process he and Porter will go through, from Mizzou beat reporter Alec Lewis:
— Alec Lewis (@alec_lewis) March 1, 2018
“It starts with Mike and me as a coach saying, ‘Mike, how do you feel?’ He’s healthy, so that part is good.”
Porter’s return would be a huge boost for the Tigers as they head into their regular-season finale, the SEC Tournament, and the NCAA Tournament.
ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi’s latest projection has Mizzou as a No. 9 seed. While Porter likely would not be able to bump Missouri’s seeding significantly this late in the season, he might make the Tigers a very dangerous team in the bracket, especially as a lower seed.