Nuggets’ Michael Porter Jr. Dealing With Potentially Season-Ending Back Issue

Michael Porter Jr.
Michael Porter Jr. Photo by Gary E Duncan Sr/CSM/REX/Shutterstock

The injury problems continue to mount for the Denver Nuggets. Already down several important players, including star guard Jamal Murray, the Nuggets are now facing the possibility of being without their standout forward Michael Porter Jr. for a prolonged period of time.

Porter has been sidelined for a while now, making his last appearance in a 95-94 win over the Houston Rockets in early November. The team didn’t share any info about the 23-year-old’s absence since then except to confirm that the player is dealing with a back injury. 

Porter’s condition, however, is a lot more serious than the Nuggets are willing to admit, according to The Denver Post‘s Mike Singer. In a recent piece, Singer reported that Porter has a nerve issue in his back and that there is a real chance he’ll be out for the remainder of the 2021-22 NBA season.

Denver’s head coach Mike Malone previously confirmed that Porter is currently away from the team and is getting treatment on his back. Reportedly, the Nuggets are willing to wait for a few weeks to see whether Porter’s condition will improve, but surgery remains a realistic option.

If the Nuggets decide to take the surgery route, that would be the third back procedure for Porter. He had his first one while at college and was forced to undergo a second one during his rookie year in NBA.

Michael Porter Jr. has been one of Denver’s best players in 2020-21, averaging 19.0 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. This prompted the franchise to lock him on a max rookie extension that will reportedly pay him $172 million over five years. This season, however, Porter’s output has been modest, and he only had 9.9 points on average throughout the nine games he played.