Porter, projected to be a top-10 pick in the 2018 draft, underwent back surgery in November that was expected to sideline him for the entire college season. While he has been cleared for full contract, it’s uncertain whether he’ll return to the court for Missouri before season’s end, writes Jeff Goodman of ESPN.
In Porter’s absence, the Tigers have posted an 18-10 record, with an 8-7 mark in SEC play, putting themselves into the conversation for the NCAA tournament. So it’s possible Missouri’s season will run well into March, giving the freshman time to return.
Whether or not Porter plays another college game, his medial clearance represents an important step for his draft prospects. In his latest mock draft, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony (Insider link) had Porter coming off the board at No. 6 to the Bulls. However, Givony cautioned that the results of Porter’s medical examination will play a major role in where he’s ultimately drafted. According to Givony, NBA teams don’t currently seem overly concerned about the youngster’s long-term prognosis.