Michael Porter Jr. still won't rule out playing for Missouri this season

Missouri freshman Michael Porter Jr. had back surgery in November and, despite dropping recent hints that he could return during the 2017-18 season, says he's not in any rush to get back on the hardwood.

Porter was the No. 2 overall prospect in the Class of 2017 and one of the projected stars of a stellar freshman class. He played just two minutes in the Tigers' season-opener before being sidelined with an injury that Missouri originally declared would take him three to four months to recover from.

In his first media appearance since before the season opener this week, Porter said it's "too early to tell" if he'll play for Missouri again this season but that he's taking his recovery slowly.

"My time is coming," Porter said via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "I just can't rush it."

Entering the 2017-18 season, Porter was at, or near the top, of nearly every NBA mock draft. But the back injury has shuffled his name down some projections, and since he played but two minutes at the college level, he's not yet sure if he'll head off to the NBA or stay at Missouri.

For now, he maintains that he's only interested in getting healthy and getting a chance to showcase his talents again.

"I know when I'm healthy people will see what I'm capable of, and it'll take care of itself," he said. "Even if I get drafted fifth, sixth, it's how I do in the NBA that determines my legacy. I'm still going to become the best player that I can become. That will take care of itself."

Porter is a 6-foot-10 forward who originally committed to Washington before Lorenzo Romar's firing. He later signed with Missouri, where his father, Michael Porter Sr., was hired as a member of Cuonzo Martin's staff. 

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