Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. has not been ruled out for the season while recovering from back surgery, a league source told The Denver Post on Thursday.
Both Porter and the team have been encouraged by his recovery since undergoing surgery on Dec. 1, the source said, but there remains no timetable for his return. The team is also expected to err on the side of caution as he makes his recovery.
In a brief interview with The Denver Post, Michael Porter Jr. said he’s in a “really good place” in terms of his recovery. His mood, being back around teammates and coaches, reflected it. Porter, who underwent back surgery on Dec. 1, accompanied the team on their two-game road trip to Houston and Dallas.
There remains no timetable on his return following his third back surgery, but sources told The Post that Porter felt an immediate improvement as soon as the surgery was performed.
Shams Charania: Sources: Denver forward Michael Porter Jr. is expected to miss the remainder of the season due to back surgery. Tough blow, but with Porter’s five-year extension kicking in next season, he and the Nuggets take big-picture approach to his health.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Surgery will be Wednesday, Bartelstein said. Porter Jr., made a full recovery from a back procedure prior to NBA, and that's expected to be case again. Denver starts a 7-game trip in Miami tonight. Nuggets (9-10) have been without three max players: Murray, Jokic and Porter.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Nuggets F Michael Porter Jr., will undergo a surgical procedure on his lower back and miss an indefinite period, his agent Mark Bartelstein of @Priority Sports tells ESPN. Bartelstein says Porter’s expected to make a full recovery; timetable on return will come after surgery.
Vinny Benedetto: If I heard that correctly, Michael Malone just said Michael Porter Jr. is not with the team right now. Sounds like MPJ is currently in Florida, as he tries to figure out what's going on with his back.
Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. is dealing with a nerve issue in his back that could jeopardize his season, league sources told The Denver Post. The Nuggets have been vague about specifics of the injury and when Porter might be expected back. They have given him a timeline of a week to show improvements before considering other treatment options. Another back surgery is a possibility, sources said.
Nuggets coach Michael Malone said after Sunday’s loss to Phoenix that Porter was in Florida away from the team. A league source said he was seeking more opinions on how to treat his injury. Since tweaking his back more than two weeks ago, Porter has been getting daily treatment in an effort to strengthen the area of the injury, sources said.
Harrison Wind: Michael Porter Jr. (low back pain) is out tonight in Dallas. Will Barton (low back pain) is doubtful. Zeke Nnaji (right ankle sprain) is probable.
TJ McBride: From what I’ve been told, Michael Porter Jr.’s MRI did not show anything alarming. He is still feeling some soreness so Denver is taking things day by day and seeing how he progresses which is why there has not been an update from the team. They are in wait-and-see mode.
Harrison Wind: Michael Malone on Michael Porter Jr: “It’s an ongoing thing, trying to figure out what’s going on…I’d still say that Michael’s out for the foreseeable future. We’re trying to take it one day at a time with him and see what the best way to approach getting him back healthy is.”
Harrison Wind: Michael Porter Jr’s status for tomorrow will probably be questionable, Malone says. Talks between VP of Sports Medicine Steve Short and team docs are ongoing. “We’re still trying to get a real grasp on the injury, the diagnosis of the injury, and what that means moving forward.”
Vinny Benedetto: Michael Malone says there’s “no real update” on Michael Porter jr. Malone adds MPJ is out for the “foreseeable future.” Sounds like they’re still doing testing and imaging, but they’ll be cautious. @CSGazetteSports
Ryan Blackburn: Michael Malone on MPJ’s status: “Michael could be back in a week. It could be longer than that. When I say foreseeable future, I’m not really sure what that means.”
Mike Singer: MPJ is out for tomorrow with low back pain. The fact that the #Nuggets didn't even list him as questionable is significant. The plan, I'm told, is to give him treatment and see how he responds to it. Ultimately, don't be surprised if he misses a few games.
When will MPJ be back? And how much will the Nuggets miss him? “It will be tough. He’s one of our main threats offensively,” Barton said. “We count on him to score and rebound. Anytime you lose one of your main guys, it will be tough to overcome.”
TJ McBride: Porter is out for the rest of tonight’s game with lower back soreness per the Nuggets.
Michael Singer: Malone said he thinks MPJ just “tweaked” his back a little bit. Porter came onto the court out of halftime with a significant wrap around his waist. Said he’s confident he’ll be fine for Game 2.
Porter, 22, understood the idea of resting but said he wanted to maintain a rhythm heading into the playoffs. Porter’s 45% 3-point shooting clip is, by far, the best on the team. Following Tuesday’s 6-of-10 3-point display, Porter’s got 16 treys in the last three games. “I don’t see a big need to rest right now,” he said, even though he admitted he’s still not fully healthy after two back surgeries delayed the start of his NBA career. Not that he’s currently battling ailments, only that he feels he’ll be healthier the more removed he is from his surgeries.
Porter still reminds himself of the Clippers doctor who wrote an infamous report suggesting he might never play basketball again. The report, according to Porter, was distributed to numerous teams. “When I saw that, I was thinking to myself, ‘I might not play again,’” Porter said. “It was that bad.”
Harrison Wind: Michael Porter Jr. is active and will start at the four for Denver tonight. Other starters: Murray, Morris, Barton, Jokic
Nuggets rookie Michael Porter Jr. said Thursday that the right ankle injury he suffered at Milwaukee on Jan. 31 was “worse than I thought” and that he was playing through pain when he did return after the All-Star break. Porter called the NBA’s hiatus a blessing in disguise because of that.
Porter, who spent one season at Missouri, said he’s got a private gym that he can access whenever he wants. “I’ve literally been in the gym just as much as I was in Denver, which has been really good,” Porter said on Altitude’s digital show. “I feel like I haven’t really lost a lot. And it’s been good for my ankle, too, because you know my ankle was still kind of sore.”
Michael Singer: MPJ said his ankle injury in Milwaukee was a "pretty bad sprain, worse than I thought." He said he was playing through pain when he did come back and is using this time to adequately recover.
Chris Dempsey: Good injury news for the #Nuggets in advance of their game Friday at Oklahoma City: Michael Porter Jr. (ankle) and Mason Plumlee (foot) WILL PLAY. Will Barton (knee) is questionable for the contest.
Tim MacMahon: Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. is unlikely to play against the Rockets due to back tightness that he experienced during his pregame routine. He's extremely expected to be day to day.
Nick Kosmider: Re: Porter: Slight tweak that occurred while warming up was more toward the upper back and is not in the area of previous surgery. The Nuggets haven’t been monitoring any lingering issues. The tweak just popped up a short time ago and Denver is exercising an abundance of caution.
Harrison Wind: Spoke with Michael Porter Jr. who says his knee injury isn’t anything serious and he could play today. However, Denver is remaining cautious. He’s working out with the team in Las Vegas and says he doesn’t have any restrictions but doesn’t think he’ll play here.
Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. told CBS4 he still hopes to play in the NBA’s Summer League in Las Vegas despite a knee injury he suffered Wednesday in practice. “It really wasn’t that big of a deal,” said Porter Jr. when asked about the injury. “Just landed a little bit funny. Nothing crazy, but I got up with a little bit of a limp. They just decided to give me a few days to rest. But I told them I’m still going to try and get out there at some point during summer league.”
“This is what I was looking forward to for the past year, you know what I mean,” added Porter Jr. “I’m still trying to get out there and I think I will be able to a little later in the summer league, but I feel good. My knee is not a problem right now.”
“You feel bad, because the kid has been putting in a lot of work, and he was excited to play,” Nuggets assistant coach Jordi Fernandez said. “But obviously the most important thing for him is to be ready for the NBA season. Again, it’s nothing major.” Before Porter’s latest setback, Fernandez was impressed by his play. “I’ve been fortunate to be around really good players, and what I see from him is special,” Fernandez said. You see things and you don’t want to say, ‘Whoa’ too loud, but, yeah, you see it. He’s pretty special.”
Still, the Nuggets do not plan to rush Porter back into action. “While we are all very excited about the potential impact that he can have, we also don’t want to put too much pressure on him,” said Nuggets general manager Tim Connelly. “He’s really hard on himself because he holds himself to such a high standard. Convincing him that this is going to be a process has been challenging. Which speaks to his competitiveness and love for the game. He wants it so bad.”
Nick Kosmider: Have confirmed @Michael Singer's report that Michael Porter Jr. suffered a knee sprain in last night's scrimmage. Team does not believe it to be anything serious and it is not related to his surgically repaired back, but Nuggets have no desire to risk anything in Las Vegas.
Chris Dempsey: And then there’s this: Porter Jr. said health wise he hasn’t felt this good, “since sophomore year of high school.” Which is crazy to think about b/c he was the National Player of the Year as a senior & McDonald’s All-American game MVP. #Nuggets
Harrison Wind: Tim Connelly on Michael Porter Jr., who’s SL debut is around the corner: "He’s been in the gym twice a day for a long time. He’s been fully cleared for several months. Him and Jarred (Vanderbilt) have pushed each other…He resembles the player we saw prior to all the injuries."
Michael Porter Jr. is ready and prepared to take part in Summer League in July, where he will look to showcase his talents and NBA readiness. "Yea I can't wait to get back out there. Nothing will compare to being out there for the first time in a real game. This team has a lot of weapons already, but I think I can be a versatile guy that does a lot of different things on the court and be a shot maker."
He added: “I feel so good. I've worked so hard every day with these guys and I feel like I'm a better player than I've ever been. "I just want to show that I'm back, feeling good, and ready to play."
“He (Porter Jr.) is special for sure,” Nuggets guard Monte Morris added. “He can handle it, shoot it and he's 6'11". He's a freak athlete. The best thing about Michael is that he feels he's the best player on the court at all times, no matter who is out there. He carries that swagger about himself, so I feel it will be easy for him to adjust when he steps into the rotation because with that swagger, you will go out there and play confident.”
Harrison Wind: Michael Malone today on Isaiah Thomas and Michael Porter Jr who are both without timelines to return. On Thomas: “...I don't think any of us envisioned it going (this far into the season)...” Porter has gone through non-contact parts of practice. “The guy has a pure jump shot." pic.twitter.com/Ws3ywQZBBk
There’s still a chance Denver lottery pick Michael Porter Jr. will play his first game late in the season, sources indicated. The Knicks passed on Porter at No. 9 because, sources said, they were told he wouldn’t play this season. Kevin Knox, meanwhile, is in the running for Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for December after averaging 17 points and 16 rebounds. Word is Porter Jr. is looking solid during private workouts.
Those who have seen Michael Porter Jr. work out in Denver as he recovers from back surgery report he's looking impressive. Even the team is surprised how well he has been shooting the 3-pointer as he works with coach Mark Price.
Former top college basketball recruit Michael Porter Jr. released a video Wednesday on The Players’ Tribune in which he discussed his time at Missouri and his journey to the NBA.
Harrison Wind: Gary Harris (left hamstring strain) is questionable for tomorrow’s preseason opener vs Lakers. Isaiah Thomas (right hip surgery), Michael Porter Jr (low back surgery), Jarred Vanderbilt (right foot surgery) are all out.
Duvalier Johnson: Connelly on Porter Jr: "Michael's rehab is going really well but no time frame. He’s had two surgeries and no need to rush him back, we’re not so concerned about the short term."
Harrison Wind: Nuggets GM Arturas Karnisovas on Michael Porter Jr: “There’s no timeline.”…”He’s moving in the right direction.” via @AltitudeSR
Jordan Schultz: On Aug 2, source close to Michael Porter, Jr. told me “he’s doing great.” Despite Porter’s confirmation, his camp not ready to decide on possible redshirt. Focus is simply “getting better every day.” Porter has endured 2 back surgeries. Hope is he’s ready 4 reg season. #Nuggets
Denver Nuggets rookie Michael Porter Jr. said he's pain-free after a second surgery on his back, and the 14th overall pick in the 2018 draft is hoping to be on the court near the start of the 2018-19 season. Porter told ESPN on Sunday at the NBA's annual rookie photo shoot that, "I finally feel, like, good," and he is hoping to be ready for game action around the time the season tips in mid-October.
"I don't have a date but I'm hoping to be back for the beginning of the year. Gotta heal up, but I feel great," said Porter. "I'm able to get on the court a little bit right now, do something different things. But my rehab has definitely been very conservative. They're really taking it easy with me, being patient with me."
Porter elected to have the second surgery last month with hopes of alleviating all issues with his back before the start of his rookie season. "[Doctors originally] only thought one of [the bulging disks] was symptomatic," said Porter. "They went in and fixed that one. Turns out that both were symptomatic. So my first surgery helped a lot but didn't fix the entire problem. Now that they did this one, I've got no pain or anything. I'm excited."
Former Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr. has undergone his second back surgery in eight months, according to the Denver Nuggets, the team that drafted him No. 14 overall in June’s NBA Draft. But his father told The Star on Thursday that there was still a chance the 6-foot-10 scorer could be ready by the start of the NBA season.
“Mike’s feeling great,” MU assistant coach Michael Porter Sr. told The Star on Thursday. “The doctors got more insight into what was going on. Just cleaned up a bit of a herniation that was pressing on a nerve. ... The initial prognosis, it sounded like he could be ready at the start of the season. It’s a good deal all the way around.”
Lumbar spine surgery involves the lower back and is usually done to relieve nerve root pinching. Porter’s previous surgery involved the L3 and L4 vertebrates, and was to relive pressure on the spinal nerve column.
Shams Charania: Denver Nuggets rookie Michael Porter Jr. underwent surgery of the lumbar spine. No timetable for his return to basketball participation.
Harrison Wind: Michael Porter Jr. has undergone surgery of the lumbar spine at The Carrell Clinic in Dallas, TX. The Procedure was performed by Dr. Andrew Dossett. There is no timetable for his return to basketball participation, Nuggets say.
Harrison Wind: Can confirm @AschNBA's report that Michael Porter Jr. had another procedure on his back but those close to the situation are encouraged/excited by his prognosis. I'm told this was a scenario that was on the table when the Nuggets selected him 14th overall.
Nick Kosmider: Tim Connelly, being interviewed on ESPNU, on the Michael Porter Jr. timetable: "The only thing we're certain of at this point is that we won't get him out there until he's 100 percent."
Since then, the organization has been in lockstep with one another on that message. "We understood the risk-reward situation with Michael Porter, and we felt at 14 he was far too great of a talent to pass up," Nuggets coach Michael Malone said during an in-game interview on NBATV during Denver's Summer League win over the Celtics Saturday night. "And we're going to to be patient. We’re not going to rush him back and that’s the luxury we have. "We have a very good team coming back, we have a very deep team so there’s no reason for us to say ‘Michael's got to play this year.’ We're going to give him all the time and treatment he needs to get better and hopefully he can get back and help us this year.”
Gina Mizell: MPJ, still shooting in socks at #Nuggets summer league practice. Once again, he won’t play in Vegas but has been here throughout the week.
Harrison Wind: As expected, draft picks Michael Porter Jr and Jarred Vanderbilt will not play at Summer League for the Nuggets. Here’s the team’s full roster including 2017 draft-and-stash Vlatko Cancar, who’s playing for Slovenia in 2019 World Cup qualifiers right now.
Will he play next season? If so, when? Will he ever truly be healthy? Nuggets president Josh Kroenke told The Undefeated he was uncertain about whether Porter Jr. would play in summer league or during the 2018-19 season. Before his post-draft news conference, Porter Jr. walked around with a slight limp as he took a congratulatory phone call from Kroenke and head coach Michael Malone. Kroenke, an ex-Missouri guard, was ecstatic to land Porter Jr. “Michael is an incredible talent and we were surprised to see him available at No. 14,” Kroenke told The Undefeated via text message. “We know the risks associated with him due to his recent back injury at Missouri, but he’s an incredibly hard worker, is an outstanding young man and we think he will fit in well with our up-and-coming group in Denver.”
Harrison Wind: Michael Porter Jr says teams at the top of the draft were telling him he was “their guy” until his hip flared up last week. Then, he started hearing he was going to drop. “Once one team gets scared, they all get scared,” he said.
Duvalier Johnson: Tim Connelly said "if we can get Michael Porter Jr. healthy we're going to be getting a special, special player." #Nuggets
Duvalier Johnson: Micheal Porter Jr. said he truly feels as if he will play to start the season. But said the decision is on the team. Will meet with the team tomorrow.
Harrison Wind: Nuggets Assistant GM Calvin Booth on Michael Porter Jr’s health: “I think Michael is feeling good. Obviously, his back has to be monitored but once we get him here and have our training staff, we’ll assess and come up with a plan of action and follow through with that plan."
January 17, 2022 | 7:13 pm EST Update
Paul Garcia: “He’s been out for a long time, I mean a really long time. He needs his rhythm to come back to feel comfortable.” – Coach Pop on Zach Collins playing in the G-League as he gets ready to return from his injury. Pop says he was just watching some of Collins’ game with Austin
Tom Orsborn: Pop indicated that D White will continue to come off the bench – at least until Tre Jones returns from health and safety protocols. “Tre is not here, so we need that backup point,” Pop said.
Serena Winters: Isaac Okoro on how much pride he takes on the defensive end: “I take a lot of pride in that. Ever since I was young, I learned that was the only way I was going to get on the court was by playing defense… If I’m locking somebody up, I’m happy.” – @Isaac Okoro
January 17, 2022 | 7:08 pm EST Update
Josh Lewenberg: Halfway point of the season for the Raptors tonight. Nurse said that this has been the most challenging of his 4 years as an NBA head coach so far, lots of ups and downs. “There’s some stark downs, man, and it’s been a battle to pick everybody up, or pick yourself up.”