Report: Michael Porter Jr. Had Another Back Surgery, Plans to Play Next Season

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJuly 18, 2018

DENVER, CO - JUNE 22: Denver Nuggets draft pick, Michael Porter Jr., poses for a photo during a press conference on June 22, 2018 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images

Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr., the 14th pick in last month's draft, reportedly underwent surgery last week to try to address issues that have persisted with herniated discs in his back.

According to NBA.com's Steve Aschburner, Porter's camp believes the surgery could represent a "breakthrough." He also noted it is "not their plan" to have him miss the 2018-19 season. 

The 20-year-old was forced to leave his Missouri Tigers debut after two minutes because of a back injury. He subsequently underwent a microdiscectomy of the L3-L4 spinal discs that sidelined him until early March. 

Porter's abbreviated collegiate stint resulted in plummeting draft stock. As a result, the former consensus top-five pick nearly fell out of the lottery.

However, the Nuggets stopped Porter's slide at No. 14 overall even though concerns about his health abounded. 

"They've just told me: 'Our primary concern is to get you all the way healthy. When that happens, you're going to be a great player, but we don't want to skip steps and don't want to put you out there when you're not 100 percent,'" Porter said on The Doug Gottlieb Show (via The Athletic's Nick Kosmider). "It all depends on what they think and how well I progress. But, knowing me, I'm going to do everything I can to get back as soon as I possibly can. I’m ready to be on the floor and compete and play. I'm looking forward to that."

There is currently no timetable for Porter's pro debut.