Denver Nuggets star Michael Porter Jr. needs back surgery and will go under the knife this week, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Porter will be out indefinitely, with a timetable set to be announced after he undergoes the surgery. Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reports Porter is expected to miss the rest of the season.
More details from Woj here:
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 (@wojespn) November 29, 2021
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It was recently reported that Porter was dealing with a back injury that could require surgery and end his season. While that official timetable will come after this surgery, it's no surprise the expectation is he'll miss the remainder of this campaign given his prior issues.
Porter barely played in his one season at Missouri because of back surgery, and then he underwent another one after the Nuggets selected him with the 14th pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. The talented forward missed his entire first season because of the issue.
Porter showed flashes in 2019-20 when he returned and then broke out last season, averaging 19.0 points and 7.3 rebounds while shooting 54.2% from the field and 44.5% from 3-point range. This earned him a five-year, $172 million extension worth up to $207 million.
Unfortunately, the 23-year-old got off to a terrible start this season as he labored with this latest back issue, and now he needs another surgery. While Denver will try to be optimistic about his recovery, there are a lot of red flags here given his history. The Nuggets just have to hope he can truly make a full recovery and stay healthy in the future.
This is a brutal blow for this Nuggets franchise that has a lot of money invested in key stars dealing with injuries. In addition to Porter, Jamal Murray is still recovering from a torn ACL suffered last season. Nikola Jokic is also dealing with a wrist issue and hasn't played since Nov. 18. Furthermore, role player P.J. Dozier is out for the season with a torn ACL.