Michael Porter Jr. injury update: Five-star Missouri freshman to have back surgery

Missouri five-star freshman Michael Porter Jr., sidelined for all but a couple of minutes of the Tigers opener, will undergo back surgery and likely will miss the rest of the season, the university announced Tuesday.

The No. 2 recruit in the class of 2017 and a preseason All-American, Porter flew Monday to Dallas with his mother to see a specialist for what the university previously had described as a leg injury, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

The 6-10 forward from Seattle missed his third straight game Monday with his status described only as “day to day” by first-year coach Cuonzo Martin.

Porter, who was considered a potential lottery pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, is expected to need 3-4 months to recover, the university said, and likely would need to either prove to NBA teams that he’s fully recovered before the draft or come back to play a full season at Missouri.

His season-long absence blows a hole in Mizzou’s rotation, proved at least in part by Monday’s 67-62 victory over Division II Emporia State, the Tigers barely escaping what the Post-Dispatch described as “what would have been among the worst losses in the program’s history.”

The Tigers were scheduled to fly Tuesday to Orlando, Fla., for the Advocare Invitational, where they begin play Thursday against Long Beach State.

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