The Missouri Tigers’ worst fear became reality, when it was announced that Michael Porter, Jr. will likely miss the rest of the 2017-18 basketball season.
Just when things looked to be going good or Missouri, the Tigers’ freshman forward left the season opener within the game’s first two minutes. Michael Porter, Jr. hasn’t been seen since.
Before the Tigers’ next game, the only status given on MPJ’s status, was he wasn’t even able to sit on the bench, and opted to stay in the team’s locker room to watch the game, instead.
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After missing two more games, Michael Porter, Jr. visited a specialist on Tuesday, and we later received the news we were hoping not to: MPJ will undergo a microdiscectomy on the L3-L4 disks in his back.
The recovery time for such a procedure, is about three-to-four months, which means, as long as MPJ’s recovery is a success, he will not be able to take the court until February or March, and that’s supposing that physical therapy is included in that timeframe.
So, it’s bad news for Missouri, which looked to be as a dynamic and talented a team as most in the NCAA, at least from a perspective of raw talent. The good news is the Tigers are still loaded with talent, and hey, Jontay Porter reclassified to play for Mizzou this year, instead of waiting a year.
The big question is, what does it mean for Michael Porter, Jr.’s future? Of course, we don’t know – if the surgery is successful and his recovery goes well, then we will await his decision on whether he’ll return to Mizzou for another year, or take his chances in the NBA Draft.
As we now see, with his injury likely having occurred in-game, it gives MPJ a new decision to weigh: Stay at Missouri for a second year, and play a full season of basketball, or take his chances in being drafted. Leaving high school, Michael Porter, Jr. was a No. 1 projected draft pick. Now, even that isn’t a guarantee. The Tigers will have to find new ways to win, until then.