COLUMBIA - Mizzou forward Michael Porter Jr. said today that there is still a possibility that he could return to the floor for Mizzou this season. He said there is no timetable for his return, but he is progressing along "as planned if not better than he hoped."
Porter Jr. had a microdiscectomy of the L3-L4 spinal discs, which typically has a recovery time of 3-4 months. The surgery took place in late November.
Porter Jr. said the injury began two years ago, but he decided to play through the pain. He now said he regrets that sometimes, because if he had surgery then, he thinks this could have been avoided.
He said he is doing work on the treadmill as well as light shooting. Doctors told Porter he could not sit for long periods of time at the beginning of the rehab process, which is why he did not sit on the team bench during the first couple of games after the surgery.
Porter now said he is able to sit and do light exercises much more than one month ago. He believes he is on track for a full recovery.
Since Porter has played with the injury for two years, he believes he will be better once full healthy.
"I believe I will be 150 percent what I was," Porter said.
Mizzou coach Cuonzo Martin said it is not up to him when Porter can return. He said he is leaving that up to the medical staff, Porter and his family, because he does not want to pressure a player when injured.
Porter said the decision is out of his control and up to the medical staff when he can return.
When asked about whether or not he could return for his sophomore season, Porter left options open much like his response to the same question at SEC media days in October, 2017.
Meanwhile, the Mizzou basketball team is gearing up for its first SEC game of the season.
The Tigers face South Carolina Wednesday at 8 p.m. The Gamecocks made the final four last season, but lost a large part of their core.
Martin and his team said they are ready for the challenge and eager to get back to their winning ways.
We will have full coverage of the game on ABC 17 News at 9 and 10 p.m. tomorrow as well as online.