Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr. smiles as he sits on the bench during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Miami (Ohio) Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, in Columbia, Mo. Porter is recuperating after a recent back surgery. (AP)
COLUMBIA, MO (KCTV) -
Missouri freshman Michael Porter Jr. spoke to the media for the first time since his back surgery in November.
His words offered little hope to Tigers fans, saying it’s too early to tell whether he will come back to play for Mizzou again this season.
He said he expects a full recovery from the injury, which he actually suffered two years ago when he landed on his back during an AAU game.
He also said he wanted to play through it until it was just too much to take. Coming back better than before is the ultimate goal.
During his news conference, he offered hope of a “chance” he could return for another season at Mizzou, and he’s progressing well with rehab.
“I’m doing a lot more movement type stuff. I’m running on the treadmill and shooting. I don’t jump that high but I can jump and it’s progressing pretty quick. I know when I'm healthy people will see what I'm capable of, and it'll all take care of itself. Even if I get drafted fifth, sixth, it's how I do in the NBA that determines my legacy. I'm still going to become the best player that I can become. That will take care of itself," Porter said.
Porter also said that he will see his doctor in Dallas on Thursday to see if he can get cleared to do more physical activity.
Coach Cuonzo Martin said it will be up to doctors and the training staff to decide when Porter can play.
The Tigers travel to South Carolina Wednesday. Tip-off is at 8 p.m.
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