Nuggets’ Michael Porter Jr. to undergo another back surgery, could miss remainder of season


Michael Porter Jr. has overcome back surgery before, going under the knife before his NBA career started. His health did not deter the Denver Nuggets from selecting him 14th overall in the 2018 draft, and he rewarded their faith by becoming one of the game’s elite young wings.

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But now Porter will have to come through another operation prior to his 24th birthday, and he’ll miss an indefinite amount of time after undergoing a scheduled lower-back procedure this week, his agent told ESPN. The Athletic reported that the surgery could cause him to sit out the rest of the 2021-22 season.

Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. (1) and Memphis Grizzles guard Desmond Bane (22) during the first half at FedExForum.© Petre Thomas, USA TODAY Sports Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. (1) and Memphis Grizzles guard Desmond Bane (22) during the first half at FedExForum.Through nine games this season, the 6-foot-10 shooter averaged 9.9 points and 6.6 rebounds. He has not played since Nov. 6, and the interim weeks were spent in hopes he could avoid another surgery.

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Prior to the season, Porter Jr. and the Nuggets agreed to a five-year, $172 million max extension.

Porter Jr. missed his entire rookie season while recovering from back surgery, which he underwent after playing sparingly in one season at the University of Missouri.

He came off the bench during his first season of play and moved into the starting lineup (in 54 of 61 games played) last year, scoring 19.0 points per game and grabbing 7.3 rebounds while shooting 44.5% on 3-pointers. The Nuggets were ultimately swept by the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Finals.

His production slipped during the early stages of this season and now it will be a while before he returns to the court.

Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.

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