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Michael Porter Jr. Will Play in SEC Tournament After Back Injury

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 7, 2018

Missouri's Michael Porter Jr. shoots baskets before an NCAA college basketball game against Arkansas, Saturday, March 3, 2018, in Columbia, Mo. Porter announced earlier in the day that he will not play in the game. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)
L.G. Patterson/Associated Press

Michael Porter Jr. will make his much-anticipated return to Missouri's lineup Thursday in the SEC tournament.

Per ESPN's Paul Finebaum, Missouri head coach Cuonzo Martin confirmed Porter said he wanted to help the team down the stretch.

"He said, 'Coach, I want to help the team.' ... For me it was always Mike's decision to play or not play," Martin said.

CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein reported on Feb. 22 that Porter received full clearance from doctors to resume basketball activities. 

Ranked as the No. 2 recruit in the 2017 class by 247Sports, Porter played just two minutes in Missouri's season opener against Iowa State. He underwent microdiscectomy surgery of his L3-L4 spinal discs in November with an estimated recovery time of three to four months. 

After finishing the regular season with a 20-11 record, Missouri is currently projected as a No. 8 seed in the NCAA tournament by ESPN's Joe Lunardi.

The Tigers will play the winner of Wednesday's game between Georgia and Vanderbilt in the second round of the SEC tournament. 

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