The Class of 2017’s top high school prospect, 6’10” Michael Porter will have back surgery and is likely to miss the rest of the season, the school announced Tuesday.
Missouri, in a press release said Porter will have a microdiscectomy of his L3-L4 spinal disks, and the expected recovery time is three to four months and that Porter is expected to make a complete recovery.
“I really appreciate the support of my family & program as I begin this process,” Porter said in a statement. “I’m thankful for the kind words & messages I’ve received from fans. Those mean a lot to me. I cannot wait to be completely healthy and playing the game I love, once again.”
The 6-foot-10 Porter left Missouri’s season opener two minutes into the game because of the injury on Nov. 10 against Iowa State after scoring just one basket before leaving the game with back stiffness.
Porter was expected to lead Missouri to the NCAA tournament after averaging 36.2 points and 13.6 rebounds per game as a senior in high school and was a McDonald’s All-American. He furthered the buzz about his potential in an exhibition game versus Kansas scoring 21 points in just 23 minutes. He had impressed the league’s media so much, that he was the SEC pre-season pick as the league Player of the Year.
He showed how that potential might translate to the college game in an exhibition game against No. 3 Kansas before the season, scoring 21 points in 23 minutes — and he was chosen as the co-Southeastern Conference preseason Player of the Year.
Those three minutes could be his only three in college, as most expect the extremely gifted and skilled big man to return in time to make his name in the NBA combine and in direct workouts for any NBA team that is looking to draft him in the lottery. He has a skill set similar to Kevin Durant, as he can knock down the three or attack the rim off the dribble and finish with variety of shots off the bounce. He is an excellent handler who can start the break and move it quickly up court with his ability to see the court and make pin-point passes.
Some think he will drop to the middle of the lotter, but if he’s back and is healthy, it won’t take long for teams at the top of the draft to fall in love with his ability to effect the game on both ends. But, time is the only true healer and it will determine whether he is ready to go in the spring or might decide to stay in college. Our gut feel is he will fall somewhere in the top six in the 2018 draft!