The Denver Nuggets never expected Mizzou F Michael Porter Jr. to play during the 2018-19 season after selecting him with the No. 14 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.
That’s because the talented forward was coming off of a back surgery from an injury he suffered only minutes into his Mizzou career.
However, his return to the court was apparently delayed even further due to a complication called “drop foot” which may have been caused by a second back surgery (via the Denver Post):
The Nuggets never planned on him playing this past season but his return to competitive basketball was further hampered after he developed drop foot, according to league sources, which was a symptom of his back surgeries. With drop foot, it’s difficult to lift the front part of one’s foot, causing it to drag. It’s sometimes a result of a herniated disk – and thus a pinched nerve – in one’s lower back.
When Porter Jr. debuts in Summer League, he’ll wear a brace on his leg to help stabilize it, sources said. He’s worn the brace for months.
Obviously, not being able to lift the front of your foot is a major hindrance for a basketball player at any level, let alone the NBA. It does sound like Porter is doing better now, though.
When he’s finally able to compete, it’ll be interesting to see what was basically a two-year layoff from competitive basketball has on the former lottery pick.