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Missouri’s Michael Porter Jr. will not play Saturday

Stephen F Austin v Missouri

COLUMBIA, MO - DECEMBER 19: Michael Porter Jr. #13 of the Missouri Tigers watches from the bench during the game against the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks at Mizzou Arena on December 19, 2017 in Columbia, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr. announced on Saturday morning that he will not play against Arkansas despite speculation to the contrary during the week.

“After two more practices since coming home from Nashville, the coaching staff and I feel that it is in the best interest of the team and myself to not play tonight,” Porter said in a statement. “Coming back from three months without practicing has been a challenge, but it is a challenge that I am taking on every day. The plan is to keep working, with an eye on potentially playing at the SEC Tournament and helping our squad be successful in the postseason.”

Porter has played just two minutes the season after undergoing back surgery in November. He has been cleared for full contact, but the team and Porter’s family have not yet decided on a way to reintegrate him into the team.