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Nuggets’ Michael Porter Jr. says he’s now pain-free after 2nd back surgery

Michael Porter Jr.

When the Denver Nuggets selected Michael Porter Jr. with the 14th pick of this year’s draft, it was perhaps the most high-risk, high-reward selection of the evening. With a recent positive update on his road to recovery from a career-threatening back injury, it appears that the Nuggets’ gamble could pay dividends sooner rather than later.

The former consensus first overall pick himself delivered the good news, claiming that he is now pain-free after undergoing a second back surgery, according to Chris Forsberg of ESPN.

“[Doctors originally] only thought one of [the bulging disks] was symptomatic,” Porter said. “They went in and fixed that one. Turns out that both were symptomatic. So my first surgery helped a lot but didn’t fix the entire problem. Now that they did this one, I’ve got no pain or anything. I’m excited.”

When asked about a possible return date, Porter was non-committal but optimistic.

“I don’t have a date but I’m hoping to be back for the beginning of the year,” projected Porter. “Gotta heal up, but I feel great,” said Porter. “I’m able to get on the court a little bit right now, do something different things. But my rehab has definitely been very conservative. They’re really taking it easy with me, being patient with me.”

Nobody expects Porter to make an immediate impact once he is able to finally make his debut, be it this season or the next. The Nuggets will surely take their time with their prized rookie, and rightfully so.

Eventually, Porter will get up to speed, and a frontcourt trio of himself, Paul Millsap, and Nikola Jokic is a truly frightening prospect. Combined with the backcourt duo of Jamal Murray and Gary Harris, and the Nuggets are set to have one of the most formidable starting lineups in the league.