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Missouri freshman forward Michael Porter Jr., who was projected to be among the top three selections in the 2018 NBA Draft, will have back surgery and is likely to miss the rest of the season, the school announced Tuesday.


“I really appreciate the support of my family & program as I begin this process,” Porter said in a statement. “I’m thankful for the kind words & messages I’ve received from fans. Those mean a lot to me. I cannot wait to be completely healthy and playing the game I love, once again.”


Porter averaged 36.2 points and 13.6 rebounds per game as a senior in high school in Washington, and was named a McDonald’s All-American after signing with Missouri.

He showed how that potential might translate to the college game in an exhibition game against No. 3 Kansas before the season, scoring 21 points in 23 minutes — and he was chosen as the co-Southeastern Conference preseason Player of the Year.

Mostly likely, Porter will be a one and done college player and look to go straight to the NBA, next summer. Time will tell if he will still be a projected lottery pick or will he drop down to a mid first rounder.