There was a potentially major development in the 2018 NBA Draft on Tuesday, as news broke that star Missouri freshman Michael Porter, Jr. will undergo back surgery that could keep him out for the rest of the season.
Porter, 19, will have a "microdiscectomy of the L3-L4 spinal discs," according to the school.
Porter played in just one game, and for only two minutes, after entering this season as one of the top recruits in the nation.
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A 6-foot-10 forward, Porter is projected by most mock drafts to be a top five pick. He is highly skilled for his size with the ability to shoot and handle the ball.
It's too early to project how much this will affect his draft status, but injuries this serious often cause players to slide.
Nerlens Noel tore his ACL as a freshman at Kentucky and was picked sixth the following summer despite once being considered the top prospect in the draft.
Joel Embiid suffered a back injury as a freshman at Kansas, yet was still taken third in a what was a deep class. It depends on the injury and the potential of the player.
There's a chance Porter returns this season. He has a recovery timeline of three-to-four months, which means he could be back in March. But with hopefully a long NBA career ahead of him, it wouldn't seem wise to risk it.