Nuggets rookie Michael Porter Jr. says he's pain free and hopes to be ready for the start of the upcoming season in mid-October following his second back surgery, ESPN reported on Sunday.
Porter Jr. entered college at Missouri last fall as one of the top prospects in his freshman class. But back woes limited him to just three appearances as he fell to Denver with the 14th pick in the 2018 draft.
Diagnosed with two bulging discs, Porter Jr. said it wasn't until his second spinal surgery in July that he finally felt complete relief following an initial procedure last November.
"I don't have a date but I'm hoping to be back for the beginning of the year," Porter Jr. told ESPN. "Gotta heal up, but I feel great. I'm able to get on the court a little bit right now, do some different things. But my rehab has definitely been very conservative. They're really taking it easy with me, being patient with me."
Indeed, Nuggets president Josh Kroenke had hinted after the draft that, if necessary, Porter Jr. would skip his entire rookie season if that's what it took to get completely healthy.
But now it seems they'll be able to add the 6-foot-10 sharpshooter sooner rather than later to an already potent team that ranked sixth in offensive efficiency at 112.5 points per 100 possessions last season.