Michael Porter Jr. injury update: Rookie forward had second back surgery, Nuggets confirm

Nuggets first-round draft pick Michael Porter Jr., who slid to Denver at No. 14 in the NBA Draft because of concerns over ongoing back issues, underwent a second spine surgery last week in Dallas, the team confirmed Thursday.

The Nuggets issued a brief statement that read: “Michael Porter Jr. has undergone surgery of the lumbar spine at The Carrell Clinic in Dallas, Texas. The Procedure was performed by Dr. Andrew Dossett. There is no timetable for his return to basketball participation.”

According to NBA.com, which initially broke the news Wednesday about the second surgery, there is no plan at this point to have him sit out the 2018-19 season.

Porter, 20, underwent back surgery in November that limited him to just three games in his true freshman season at Missouri. A a 6-10 forward with ballhandling skills and good outside shooting range, he had been considered a potential No. 1 overall pick before that surgery.

When Porter, who entered the draft despite the back issues, was available at the 14th pick, the Nuggets decided to take the risk, based on his game when healthy.

This latest procedure, according to Porter’s camp (via NBA.com), has led to a greater understanding of his “herniated-disks condition” and boosted confidence among the Nuggets front office, medical and coaching staffs that he can move on from the injury and begin his Nuggets career this season. 

There was speculation almost immediately after the draft that he might not play at all in 2018-19, spending his rookie year rehabbing and strengthening his back.

Either way, Porter will be paid $2.4 million this season, based on the multiyear NBA rookie contract he signed earlier this month.

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