Nuggets small forward Michael Porter Jr. is progressing well from spine surgery and may be able to return as soon as March, according Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Porter could be cleared for “on-court contact” next week, Wojnarowski added.
As an aside, Nuggets coach Michael Malone suggested to reporters that the Porter report may be jumping the gun a little.
“I would say don’t listen to those reports. … They didn’t come from me, they didn’t come from [president of basketball operations] Tim Connelly,” Malone said, via Mike Singer of the Denver Post. “They didn’t come from anybody within the Denver Nuggets. I would say, be careful what you listen to and what you read.”
Malone offered no timetable on a Porter return. At the time Porter went down in November, it was believed he would be out for the season.
Porter, 23, is 6-foot-10 and averaging 9.9 points and 6.6 rebounds in nine appearances this season. He exited the Nov. 9 game vs. the Rockets with the injury — though it likely was nagging for a while.
The No. 14 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, Porter missed his most of his only college season and all of his rookie season after back surgeries.
He averaged career-highs of 19.7 points and 7.3 rebounds in 61 games last season, arguably his best yet.
Looking for the latest NBA Insider News & Rumors?
Be sure to follow Hoops Wire on TWITTER and FACEBOOK for breaking NBA News and Rumors for all 32 teams!