Porter Jr. will play for Mizzou in Thursday's SEC Tournament Opener


Missouri Head Coach Cuonzo Martin told ESPN's Paul Finebaum his star freshman will play Thursday in the second-round of the Southeastern Conference Tournament in St. Louis.

"He said, "Coach, I want to help the team" ... for me, it was always Mike's decision to play or not play", Martin told reporters Wednesday.

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Last month, his doctor cleared him to return to all basketball related activities. They will take on the victor of tonight's game between Georgia and Vanderbilt tomorrow afternoon at 3:25pm ET. He underwent microdiscectomy surgery of his L3-L4 spinal discs in November with an estimated recovery time of three to four months. Martin specified that Porter would not play an enormous amount of minutes and would come off the bench. Missouri finished with a 20-11 regular season record without Porter. Porter would've had them in a different stratosphere most likely, but seniors Kassius Robertson and Jordan Barnett have done an outstanding job carrying the team. "But I'd be surprised if he played 30 minutes".

He was ranked as the top freshman player in the country coming into the season and is widely regarded as a potential lottery pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.