Missouri freshman Michael Porter Jr. is prepared to play when the Tigers take the court on Thursday in St. Louis for the 2nd round of the SEC Tournament, according to head coach Cuonzo Martin (h/t ESPN).
Porter, who has been sidelined since the first game of the season against Iowa State, won’t start and Martin stated that he would be “surprised” if the projected NBA lottery player plays more than 30 minutes.
Missouri faces the winner of Wednesday night’s Georgia-Vanderbilt game.
“He could play 20-25 minutes,” Martin said. “It’s really how I feel, the flow of the game, and how he feels. I don’t have it in my head to say, ‘He’s going to play this many minutes, and that’s it.’ … But I’d be surprised if he played 30 minutes.
“If he’s healthy, we’re rolling. Unless the trainer or Mike says otherwise, he’s playing.”
Porter underwent back surgery, a microdiscectomy of the L3-L4 spinal disks and at the time Missouri said that the procedure would “likely cause him to miss the remainder of the season.”
Porter was medically cleared in February and has practiced with the team sporadically since.
Missouri still had a successful season, even with the loss of Porter, posting a 20-11 regular season record and finishing with a winning conference record for the 1st time since 2012-2013.