Michael Porter Jr.’s back is flaring up again and while we are hoping his recent absence is just routine load management, it is still worrisome to see him out of the lineup. Porter Jr.’s back injury woes started in November 2017 and they have been a problem for him ever since. He has since had three surgeries, including a lumbar spine surgery last November that kept him out for nearly the entire season.
Porter Jr. was looking good at the start of this season and the Nuggets were enjoying having him back in the lineup. That is until he popped up on the injury report on Wednesday as questionable. While the Nuggets didn’t specify the injury, sources have confirmed that the absence was related to his back issues. Porter Jr. ultimately sat out of Wednesday’s game, and his availability for Friday’s matchup with the Jazz will give us a better idea of whether this is load maintenance or a possible setback.
If it is a setback, Porter Jr. could be out for a few weeks or a few months depending on the severity. Given his history with back problems and the fact that back injuries are notoriously finicky, any setback, no matter how small, would be worrisome. However, load management is a necessary step in getting Porter Jr. back to 100%, so we are going to chalk up his absence to maintenance until we hear more information.