After a week and a half of vague signals, we have gotten a final answer regarding what has been ailing Michael Porter Jr. It’s not a happy answer, but it’s an answer.
Michael Porter, Jr. will undergo surgery on Tuesday, Nov. 21, in Dallas, Texas. The procedure, a microdiscectomy of the L3 and L4 spinal discs, has a projected recovery time of three-four months and will likely cause him to miss the remainder of the season. Michael is expected to make a complete recovery, and the Mizzou Men's Basketball program wishes Michael the best during this process.
No further information is available at this time.
Statement from head coach Cuonzo Martin: "Our top priority as a program is the well-being of our student-athletes, so Michael beginning this process to be 100 percent healthy is important to all of us. Our focus has been on Michael's well-being, just like every other player in our locker room. We will continue to work every day to build Mizzou Basketball into a program to be proud of. We're preparing now for a trip that is a tremendous opportunity. I'm excited to get after it in Orlando."
Statement from Michael Porter, Jr.: "I really appreciate the support of my family and the Mizzou Men's Basketball program as I begin this process. I'm thankful for all the kind words and messages I've received from fans. Those mean a lot to me. I cannot wait to be completely healthy and playing the game I love, once again."
So there you go. Porter almost certainly won’t be a part of the Missouri basketball team this year. Maybe he jumps to the pros having played all of two official minutes for Mizzou, and maybe he returns in 2018-19 to get that season with his brother after all. He hinted that a return was a possibility all along, and while the odds of that don’t seem great, it doesn’t seem like zero percent, either. We’ll see.
In the meantime, if you’re interested in reading about the type of surgery Porter is undergoing, start here.
A lumbar microdiscectomy surgery is performed to remove the portion of a herniated disc that is irritating or inflaming the nerve root.
A microdiscectomy is performed through a small incision in the midline of the low back.
First, the back muscles, called erector spinae, are lifted off the bony arch, called the lamina, of the spine. Since these back muscles run vertically, they can be moved out of the way rather than cut.
The surgeon is then able to enter the spine by removing a membrane over the nerve roots. This membrane is called the ligamentum flavum.
Consider this a self-pity thread — get it out of the way now because Missouri still has a weird, interesting, exciting team to root for the rest of the way.