COLUMBIA, Mo.–Mizzou basketball freshman Michael Porter Jr. has been cleared for full contact, after a follow-up appointment with doctors who performed his back surgery in November. The question that remains is whether he will play this season.
Porter is considered a top 5 pick in June’s NBA draft, but played just two minutes in the season opener at Iowa State.
Porter has already indicated that when and if he was cleared for contact, it would take him minimal time to get prepared to play in a game. Head coach Cuonzo Martin told the media that Porter would have to practice first and his main concern was how long Porter would be able to play. Getting back into basketball shape would take some time.
However, that doesn’t mean Porter couldn’t be effective in small doses during a game. I believe Porter has quite a few reasons for why he would want to play this year for Mizzou.
While some believe there is no upside in risking further injury when a high draft selection in the NBA is virtually guaranteed, Porter proving he can play and that he is healthy could boost his draft stock. That could be a difference of millions in salary. Mostly, Porter told us this is the best he feels. He’s pain-free. Why wouldn’t he want to get back on the court doing what he loves and not experience any pain? The third reason is that he wants to play with his brother Jontay. It was one of the biggest reasons Jontay reclassified. He wants to play with Michael.
He has several reasons to want to get back on the court as soon as possible and Missouri would welcome him.
The Tigers are 18-10 overall and 8-7 in the SEC and play Saturday at Kentucky.