Denver Nuggets rookie Michael Porter Jr. isn't experiencing any pain in his back after having a second back surgery in July.
"I don't have a date but I'm hoping to be back for the beginning of the year," Porter said in an interview with ESPN.com's Chris Forsberg. "Gotta heal up, but I feel great. I'm able to get on the court a little bit right now, do some different things. But my rehab has definitely been very conservative. They're really taking it easy with me, being patient with me."
Porter slipped to the Nuggets with the 14th overall pick, in large part because of long-term concerns about his health. He only played in three games for Missouri after having back surgery in November. The fact he underwent a subsequent procedure in the summer only added to the concerns about his back.
According to Forsberg, Porter is looking to make his Nuggets debut in mid-October when they open the 2018-19 season. Denver's first game is against the Los Angeles Clippers on Oct. 17.
During his interview with Forsberg, Porter also quashed any ongoing drama with Dallas Mavericks rookie guard Luka Doncic. He said he had inadvertently liked a comment on Instagram calling Doncic overrated.
"So what's crazy is that blew up," Porter said. "Believe it or not, I'm scrolling through [a post about] the Rookie of the Year odds and I accidentally like a comment. This is the Euroleague MVP and I got nothing but respect for him. I was like, 'Man, I didn't want to come off like that.'"
Porter added he spoke directly to Doncic to resolve the situation.