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Michael Porter Jr. out indefinitely after lumbar spine surgery

The Nuggets forward will be out indefinitely after the surgery on his lower back.

Michael Porter Jr. is averaging 9.9 points and 6.6 rebounds this season.

Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr. underwent lumbar spine surgery on Wednesday to address a lower back injury, the team announced. He is out indefinitely.

Porter — who dealt with a serious back problem in college, so severe that some wondered if he would ever be an effective NBA player — has been limited to nine games this season.

ESPN first reported that Porter will need the surgery.

Denver has had seven players miss time with injuries already this season, including reigning Kia MVP Nikola Jokic and All-Star guard Jamal Murray. Jokic has been dealing with a wrist issue, and Murray hasn’t played since tearing the ACL in his left knee last season.

Porter was limited to three games in his lone college season at Missouri because of back issues, then fell to 14th in the 2018 NBA draft after once being considered a serious candidate to be the No. 1 overall pick.

He missed his entire rookie season with the Nuggets after back surgery, but has blossomed in a big way since.

Porter has averaged 14 points in 125 NBA regular-season games, averaged 17.4 points in last season’s playoffs and was rewarded back in September with a five-year extension that will be worth at least $173 million. The extension begins next season.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.