Missouri freshman Michael Porter Jr. spoke publicly on Saturday for the first time since having had surgery to repair a back injury.
Porter gave an interview to ESPN2 announcers Tom Crean and Jordan Bernfield during the Tigers’ Braggin’ Rights game against Illinois in St. Louis.
“I’m feeling great,” Porter said. “Rehab is going real well, and I’m getting stronger every day.”
Porter underwent a “microdiscectomy of the L3-L4 spinal discs” on Nov. 21 in Dallas. At the time, a press release from Mizzou said the procedure had a three-to-four-month recovery time, meaning the nation’s No. 1 recruit was likely to miss the remainder of the season.
A cryptic Instagram post on Nov. 26 and the sight of Porter shooting before Missouri’s recent game have led to speculation that he could return this season, but he was not asked about that possibility during Saturday’s interview.
He did reveal that the injury happened “a couple years ago” and said he’s doing a lot of “core strengthening” and “dynamic movements.”
Porter was also asked about his younger brother, Jontay Porter, who is also a freshman at Mizzou, and said he should be more assertive.
Porter returned to the bench to watch the remainder of the Tigers’ game against the Illini.
“I know how good they can be,” Porter said of his Mizzou teammates. “I just tried to encourage them.”