SAN FRANCISCO — The injured power forward for the Denver Nuggets, Michael Porter Jr.., is hoping to play in his team’s first-round series against the Golden State Warriors.
“Right now, I’m taking it game by game. I’m not ruling anything out,” Porter told ESPN after the Nuggets’ 123-101 loss to the Warriors in Game 1 on Saturday. “This is something I never want to deal with again, so I’m taking my time… Every morning I wake up and I know I feel fine.” Every day I’m getting closer,” he added.
Porter underwent lumbar spine surgery on December 1 to treat a lower back injury. It was his third back surgery since November 2017, when he was playing for the University of Missouri. The 6-foot-10, 218-pound player seemed to be physically hampered this season after averaging 9.9 points and 6.6 rebounds before sitting out. He last played for the Nuggets on November 6 against the Houston Rockets.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on February 27 that Porter was scheduled to return to the lineup sometime in March. But Porter told ESPN those hopes changed after he suffered a rehab setback a month ago.
“I felt pretty good. I felt ready. It was just a little sore, so I realized about a month ago that I was fine, but I was trying too hard to get back. I can do anything. I have no restrictions. But when I got back to playing at full speed and doing everything, that’s when it hurt a little bit. So I decided if I feel perfect, I’m going to come back.” Otherwise, I’ll take my time.”
The Nuggets face the Warriors on Monday in Game 2.
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Porter Jr, hoping to reappear against Warriors