Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr., who missed all but nine games last year after undergoing lumbar spine surgery, reported great news on his recovery as he was taking in his team's summer-league matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday evening.
"I think I'm 100 percent at this point," Porter said (h/t Harrison Wind of DNVR Sports). "It's a blessing. I feel good. I'm excited to get back on the court and play basketball."
Porter averaged 19.0 points on 54.2 percent shooting (44.5 percent from three-point range) and 7.3 rebounds during the 2020-21 season.
After that fantastic campaign, Porter signed a five-year extension worth up to $207 million in September 2021. However, Porter left a Nov. 6 game against the Houston Rockets and never returned to the court again in 2021-22.
When healthy, Porter is one of the smoothest shooters and scorers in the game. He's a perfect complement to superstar center Nikola Jokic, especially given the big man's passing abilities.
Unfortunately, back injuries have stunted a very promising career. He underwent a microdiscectomy in Nov. 2017 and was held to just three games during his one year at Missouri.
Denver selected him with the No. 14 overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft in June 2018. One month later, he then had another spinal surgery.
He missed all of 2018-19 but made his debut the following year and impressed with 9.3 points on 50.9 percent shooting in 16.4 minutes per game.
Porter really showcased his talents during the regular-season portion of bubble games to finish the 2020 season, scoring 22.0 points on 55.1 percent shooting and grabbing 8.6 rebounds per game.
It's clear why Denver believes that Porter is a substantial part of its future. Hopefully the 24-year-old's back problems are behind him and he's able to regain the form that made him look like a potential All-Star.