“I finally feel, like, good,” Porter said at today’s annual rookie photo shoot, expressing hope that the back issue that robbed him of most of his college career won’t do the same in his first NBA campaign.
“I don’t have a date but I’m hoping to be back for the beginning of the year. Gotta heal up, but I feel great,” he added. “I’m able to get on the court a little bit right now, do some different things. But my rehab has definitely been very conservative. They’re really taking it easy with me, being patient with me.”
Porter injured his back in his first game at Missouri and underwent a microdiscectomy in November to fix one of two bulging disks. He had another spinal surgery last month, and the Nuggets haven’t set any kind of recovery timetable after that procedure.
Porter was among the top college recruits in last year’s class and could have been a high lottery pick if he had remained healthy. However, concerns from the medical staffs of several teams that examined him caused him to slide to Denver at No. 14.
“[Doctors originally] only thought one of [the bulging disks] was symptomatic,” Porter explained. “They went in and fixed that one. Turns out that both were symptomatic. So my first surgery helped a lot but didn’t fix the entire problem. Now that they did this one, I’ve got no pain or anything. I’m excited.”