Michael Porter Jr. could be out for the season with nerve issue

Denver Nuggets power forward Michael Porter Jr. could be sidelined for the rest of the year with a nerve issue in his back that could require surgery. 

Michael Porter Jr.’s back issues have been limiting him since he entered the league.

Porter Jr. fell from the No.1 overall pick in 2018 to No. 14 solely because of his health issues. Before he set foot on an NBA court, Porter Jr. had two back surgeries by the age of 20.

Now, it seems that Porter Jr.’s injured past has come back to haunt him, as the 23-year-old Nuggets forward could be out for the rest of the season due to reaggravating a back injury on Nov. 6.

According to the Denver Post, Porter Jr. is currently dealing with a nerve issue in his back that could jeopardize his 2021-22 season.

Porter Jr. injured his back on a missed layup on Nov. 6 and has not played since.

While the exact nature of the injury and the timeline of his return remains vague, the Nuggets have given Porter Jr. a week to determine whether or not he will improve or they will need to search for long-term treatment to remedy the issue. Surgery is a possibility, according to league sources.

Michael Porter Jr. could be out for the season with an injured nerve in his back

What initially looked like a missed opportunity on a wide-open basket has proven to be a complicated health issue which Porter Jr. is working to recover from each day.

Porter Jr. is in Florida at the moment, according to Nuggets coach Michael Malone. Porter Jr. is reportedly there to seek more opinions on how to treat his injury, all while getting daily treatment to strengthen the area of the injury.

The injury gives context to Porter Jr.’s struggles this season, as the young forward has been playing through games while injured all season, according to Nuggets guard Austin Rivers.

“He’s playing hurt this whole season,” Rivers said earlier this month. “It’s hard to do that. Hopefully, he comes back soon because he’s a huge part of our team.”

Aside from missing the chance to play, the back issue is especially concerning because it could cost Porter Jr. millions in his new contract. Porter Jr. signed a five-year, $172 million rookie extension that will become $207 million if Porter Jr. is selected to an All-NBA team. Now, the nomination may have to wait another season.