The Denver Nuggets will be without Michael Porter Jr. for the “foreseeable future.”
Nuggets head coach Michael Malone said Monday night that Porter is dealing with a back injury he suffered on Saturday against the Houston Rockets, and that he has no idea when he’ll return.
“This is a process where we’re being very cautious, talking to doctors, getting imaging all that kind of stuff,” Malone said, via The Athletic.
“Michael could be back in a week. It could be more than that. I don’t know. When I say foreseeable future, I don’t really know what that means. I just know he’s not playing tonight.”
Porter came up with a steal in the first quarter of Denver’s 95-94 win over the Rockets on Saturday, and had a wide-open lane to the rim.
What should have been an easy dunk turned into what will likely go down as the worst missed layup of the season.
Porter left the game quickly after that miss after he was seen limping and moving slowly. The Nuggets said he was dealing with lower back soreness.
Porter signed a five-year max extension worth up to $207 million with the Nuggets in September. The 23-year-old has struggled since then and has averaged 9.9 points and 6.6 rebounds per game while shooting 35.9% from the field and 21% from behind the arc.
Though there isn’t a timeline for his return, Porter’s latest back issue isn’t a good sign for a player with such an extensive injury history. He missed nearly all of his one college season at Missouri with a back injury and then missed his entire rookie season because of it.
At this point, especially since the Nuggets are playing just their 10th game of the season on Monday night, it’s safe to assume Denver will take its time and make sure Porter is healthy before he plays again.