The Nuggets continue to be without forward Michael Porter Jr.
Porter played in Denver’s first nine games of the 2021-22 season but left the team’s matchup with Houston on Nov. 6 with back tightness. He hasn’t taken the court since.
Porter struggled in the games he appeared in, averaging 9.9 points on .359/.208/.556 shooting splits.
What’s next for Porter? Here’s everything we know about his injury and when he could possibly return.
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What is Michael Porter Jr.’s injury?
According to Mike Singer of The Denver Post, Porter is dealing with a nerve issue in his back.
Singer added that Porter exacerbated a back injury he’s been dealing with all season on a layup attempt in Denver’s win over Houston.
Porter has a history of back injuries. He was limited to only three games during his freshman season at Missouri because he suffered a back injury that required surgery. He then underwent a second back surgery following the 2018 NBA Draft, sidelining him for his entire rookie season.
Porter bounced back strong, posting 9.3 points and 4.7 rebounds over 55 games (eight starts) in 2019-20. He was one of the league’s breakout players in 2020-21, finishing third in Most Improved Player voting with averages of 19.0 points and 7.3 rebounds per game.
How long will Michael Porter Jr. be out?
On Nov. 8, 2021, Nuggets head coach Mike Malone said that Porter “could be back in a week. It could be more than that. I don’t know.”
Two weeks later, Singer reported that Porter’s latest injury could “jeopardize his season” and require another surgery. He is reportedly away from the team and is “seeking more opinions on how to treat his injury.”
What is Michael Porter Jr.’s contract situation?
Porter signed a five-year rookie-scale max extension in the offseason. He is guaranteed $172 million and could make up to $207 million if he reaches certain criteria.
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