The Bulls will be keeping a close eye on the best young talent the loaded 2018 NBA Draft will have to offer. But they likely won't be seeing much of Missouri's Michael Porter Jr.
The school announced Tuesday that their freshman forward, the top recruit in the country, will miss the remainder of his freshman season.
Statement from #Mizzou:— Mizzou Hoops (@MizzouHoops) November 21, 2017
Michael Porter, Jr. will undergo surgery on Tuesday, Nov. 21, in Dallas, Texas. The procedure, a microdiscectomy of the L3-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.— Mizzou Hoops (@MizzouHoops) November 21, 2017
Statement from @CuonzoMartin:— Mizzou Hoops (@MizzouHoops) November 21, 2017
“Our top priority as a program is the well-being of our student-athletes, so Michael beginning this process to be 100% 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."
Cont. from @CuonzoMartin:— Mizzou Hoops (@MizzouHoops) November 21, 2017
"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 #MPJr:— Mizzou Hoops (@MizzouHoops) November 21, 2017
“I really appreciate the support of my family & program as I begin this process. I’m thankful for the kind words & 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.”
Porter played all of 100 minutes for the Tigers, amassing 2 pioints and 2 rebounds in the Tigers' win over Iowa State.
The injury isn't to say Porter won't declare for the 2018 NBA Draft, or that it will affect his stock at all. He's still considered a legitimate franchise player and certainly someone all teams drafting in the top 5 will have their eye on.
But there will be competition. Players like Luka Doncic, Marvin Bagley, DeAndre Ayton and Mo Bamba make up what could be one of the best draft classes in recent memory.
For now the Bulls will have to wait until the spring or summer to see Porter Jr. work out, while doing due diligence on the rest of the class.