After latest injury setback, Michael Porter Jr. setting his sights on regular season

Yahoo Sports Contributor
Yahoo Sports
If it were up to him, <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/nba/players/6025/" data-ylk="slk:Michael Porter Jr.">Michael Porter Jr.</a> would still be playing in the Summer League. Instead, he's forced to focus on his health leading up to the regular season. (Getty Images)
If it were up to him, Michael Porter Jr. would still be playing in the Summer League. Instead, he's forced to focus on his health leading up to the regular season. (Getty Images)

Michael Porter Jr. has yet to play in an official NBA game — something that’s becoming increasingly frustrating for the former top-ranked high school prospect.

Porter’s road to the NBA became even longer last week, when the Denver Nuggets forward suffered a left knee sprain during a minicamp scrimmage. That injury, which followed a lengthy back injury that sidelined him for his entire first season in the league, has forced Porter out of the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

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“I got hurt that last play of the scrimmage,” Porter said this week, via the Denver Post. “I was so sad, but after that initial madness and sadness, you kind of just gotta reset.

“It sucks, man, I was really looking forward to this. I’ve been waiting for like a year and a half, I can wait a few more days.”

Porter suffered a back injury just minutes into his first collegiate game at Missouri, and missed nearly the entire season. After the Nuggets drafted him with the No. 14 overall pick in the 2018 draft, he had a second back surgery — which eventually kept him out of the entire season.

The 21-year-old’s latest injury, though, is nowhere near as bad as his first one. If it were up to him, Porter would still be playing in Las Vegas.

Despite the precautionary measures, Porter understands his attention needs to be on the start of the season — something he expects to be good to go for.

“It was so minor of a thing to where, I’m just happy it wasn’t anything bigger,” Porter said, via the Denver Post. “I’m good now. I could play today if they would let me. I really wanted to play in this, but this isn’t what I’m working for. I’m working for the season.”

Avoiding social media after latest setback

With nothing to do now but focus on his recovery, Porter is trying to stay patient.

A big part of that, he said, is simply staying off social media.

“That’s why I get off of social media so much,” Porter said, via the Denver Post. “I hate people like building this hype around me and then I can’t play or something and then everybody’s hating. It’s kind of hard, people act like you’re not human. Like, I see that stuff. I gotta take a break from looking at all that stuff.”

That negativity can take a toll on athletes — especially on a player like Porter, who has yet to have the opportunity to prove himself in the NBA.

So until he’s totally healthy and ready to make his debut with the Nuggets, Porter isn’t playing any attention to social media. While he understands how important it can be, especially in today’s NBA, he doesn’t want the negativity that it brings to hinder his recovery.

“Social media is such a good thing to develop your brand and everything,” Porter said, via the Denver Post. “When I get on the court and play, I’ll probably get it back, start posting stuff, but like for now, while I’m rehabbing and getting ready to play, I don’t like looking at all the negativity.”

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