Missouri’s Porter Jr. practices 3 months after back surgery
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri basketball coach Cuonzo Martin says freshman Michael Porter Jr. will return to practice on Friday, three months after back surgery.
The top prep prospect in the country last season played just two minutes in Missouri’s opener in November. Martin says there’s no timetable for his return to play. The Tigers face Kentucky on Saturday.
“Just one day at a time,” Martin said. “The most important thing is his well-being, his health and making sure he’s ready to go.”
Porter had back surgery Nov. 21, with a projected recovery time of three to four months. The Tigers had announced the day of his surgery it would “likely cause him to miss the remainder of the season.”
“If he’s healthy enough to practice and go through it — bang up and down, run the floor, block out, fall down, take a charge, all of those things — then I’ll decide between the doctor’s and trainers,” Martin said.
The Tigers (18-10, 8-7 Southeastern Conference) have lost two straight after winning five in a row. Missouri’s most recent loss came at home Tuesday against Ole Miss, which is tied for last in the conference.
Porter averaged 36.2 points and 13.6 rebounds as a senior in high school in Washington and was selected to the McDonald’s All-American team after signing with the Tigers.
The 6-foot-10 Porter hinted at his return during a press conference on Feb. 9, where he said there was a “good chance” he’d come back.
“He’s a competitive player,” Martin said. “So if you say play tomorrow, he’s playing tomorrow.”