Missouri superstar freshman Michael Porter Jr., ESPN’s No. 2 player in the 2017 high school class, had back surgery and will miss the rest of the season.
The 6-10 forward underwent a “microdiscectomy of the L3-L4 spinal discs” spinal back procedure on Tuesday. The recovery time from the surgery is usually three-to-four months.
Porter was injured two minutes into Mizzou’s 74-59 opening night win over Iowa State on Nov. 10.
“I really appreciate the support of my family and the Mizzou men’s basketball program as I begin this process,” Porter said via a release. “I’m thankful for all the kind words and messages I’ve received from fans. Those mean a lot to me. I cannot wait to be completely healthy and playing the game I love, once again.”
The injury is a huge blow for Missouri as Porter was expected to go No. 1 or No. 2 in the 2018 NBA Draft.
But coach Cuonzo Martin said his main focus is on getting Porter healthy again.
“Our top priority as a program is the well-being of our student-athletes, so Michael beginning this process to be 100 percent healthy is important to all of us,” said Martin. “Our focus has been on Michael’s well-being, just like every other player in our locker room.”
Porter averaged a whopping 36.4 points and 13.5 rebounds for Nathan Hale High School (Seattle) last year, leading the team to an undefeated season and the Washington state 3A championship.
The previous season as a junior, Porter averaged 28.5 points as a junior at Father Tolton Catholic (Columbia, MO).
Porter’s dad had moved the family from Missouri to the northwest two summers ago after taking an assistant coaching job at Washington.
Porter, who decommitted from Washington after coach Lorenzo Romar’s firing, committed to Mizzou after his father Michael Porter Sr. accepted an assistant job at the school this summer under new Missouri coach Cuonzo Martin.
Porter, Jr. also averaged 22.8 points and 10.9 rebounds in the Nike EYBL in 2016, leading Mokan Elite to the Peach Jam title alongside No. 23 2017 HS recruit Trae Young (Oklahoma).
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