Michael Porter Jr. Pain-Free After Surgery, Luka Doncic Drama Is '100% Accident'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 12, 2018

FILE - In this June 22, 2018, file photo, Michael Porter Jr., the Denver Nuggets first-round pick in the NBA Draft, jokes with reporters as one of the team's two, second-round selections, Thomas Welsh, looks on during a news conference to introduce the players to the media, in Denver. Nuggets rookie forward Michael Porter Jr. has undergone back surgery in Dallas and there is no timetable for his return to the court. The team said Thursday, July 19, 2018, the procedure of the lumbar spine was performed by Dr. Andrew Dossett at the Carrell Clinic. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

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.

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