Michael Porter Jr. had spinal surgery in November that was believed to be season-ending.
Missouri will get a big boost when it opens the SEC tournament on Thursday.
Tigers freshman Michael Porter Jr., a projected NBA lottery pick who has played a total of two minutes this season, will play in the conference tournament, head coach Cuonzo Martin told reporters Wednesday.
Porter was on the court for just two minutes in Mizzou’s season opener against Iowa State in November before he left with a hip injury. The school later announced that he would undergo spinal surgery, a procedure believed to be season-ending.
But Porter made good progress in his rehab and was cleared to return to basketball activities two weeks ago. He did not appear in the Tigers’ regular season finale but was widely believed to be plotting a return in the conference tournament.
Porter was selected as co-preseason SEC Player of the Year and the Tigers were picked to finish fifth in the conference. The star freshman’s injury was viewed as a major blow to Mizzou’s NCAA tournament aspirations but the team excelled in Porter’s absence, finishing the regular season at 20–11. ESPN’s Joe Lunardi currently projects the Tigers as a No. 8 seed.
Missouri will play the winner of Wednesday night’s Georgia-Vanderbilt game.