When Michael Porter Jr. injured his back in November, most assumed he would sit the season out to avoid reinjury ahead of this summer’s NBA Draft. Now, it appears the Missouri star may return this season after all. Today, Porter told reporters that he wants to play this year — before the postseason — and will meet with the doctors next week to see if he’s cleared to return to the court.
“My rehab therapist thinks that I’m good to go with practice except for the contact part. I’m hoping that the doctor clears me for everything, contact included. That’s what I would love to hear. But it’s not up to me. It’s to me to work hard, but it’s up to the doctors to tell me I’m ready to go.”
So, a potential top five draft pick would risk millions for a handful of games? What is this madness?? As someone who was charmed by Porter at SEC Basketball Media Day, I genuinely believe this next quote.
“I’m just a kid who loves to play basketball. I’m not thinking about the risk. If I could play today, I would play today. I’m not worried about reinjury. I’m not really worried about the risk.”
When would that return happen? (Wait for it…)
“If it were up to me, I would love to get a couple games under my belt before hopping into tournament play,” he said. “If I’m ready to go, then I’m ready to go.”
So, looking at the calendar, if he’s cleared to return to practice next week, that would mean he could make his return as soon as…February 24 when the Tigers travel to Kentucky.